MTN Announces its Partners for its New “Crowd Sourcing” Project

MTN South Africa has announced its partner businesses for their new innovative generator ‘crowd sourcing’ project.

MTN South Africa recently asked small businesses with additional generation capacity to join forces in an innovative crowd-sourcing initiative to further bolster MTN’s network resilience work, as rolling daily power cuts continue. The focus of the initiative has been to find some positive in the power crisis, by bringing small businesses closer to MTN. Two businesses – 24Solutions, SAMO Engineering – have stepped up and are now working with MTN as supply partners to provide additional generator capacity.

Charles Molapisi, MTN SA CEO, says keeping MTN’s customers connected to SA’s best network is a critical focus, but so too is finding opportunity in crisis.

It is an absolute priority to ensure digital access is maintained despite the ongoing power crisis. We want to ensure customers stay connected, no matter the situation and we’re thinking out-of-the-box, to find alternative solutions. Collective effort and relentless optimism are needed right now, and I am extremely pleased to see progress on our crowd-sourcing approach to the power crisis we’re all facing. We plan to scale this up even further in future.

Charles Molapisi, CEO, MTN SA

Despite an aggressive and successful battery rollout to ensure network stability and connectivity can be maintained, the extent and duration of the ongoing power cuts means battery back-up is placed under strain. Back-up systems generally take 12-18 hours to recharge, while batteries have a capacity of about 6-12 hours, and so MTN decided to embark on this initiative to find additional alternative energy sources. Consistent theft and vandalism of the batteries places another drag on the system, so additional generation capacity also provides a short-term solution to limit the downtime when batteries are being replaced or repaired.

All of the suppliers in the programme are uniquely positioned as they have the capacity and expertise in the telecoms sector. SAMO Engineering is an enterprise providing holistic engineering integration and consulting services to the Telecommunication, Rail and Power industry. 24Solutions is a leading energy, service and maintenance company operating in the telecommunications sector.

In addition to the battery rollout, MTN has also deployed over 2,000 generators to counter the impact of load-shedding. The deployment of additional emergency generators and an optimisation of the existing fleet of MTN mobile generators was a key part of the planning.

Successful applicants in the crowd-sourcing programme had to meet the following criteria:

  • 40kVA, petrol or diesel.
  • 100 litres minimum capacity tank.
  • Maximum noise level: 65dB.
  • Trailing cable: 10m.
  • DIN 16 male plug.

We made the call to partner with companies with generators, whether they had two or 40, and are pleased to have found 24Solutions, SAMO Engineering to join us.

We continue to work around the clock to protect customer’s connectivity, with an aggressive rollout of batteries, generators and alternate power supplies. This successful initiative with small businesses is another way we are trying to help local business, while at the same time supporting the growth of the economy and broadening MTN’s supply chain.

Charles Molapisi, CEO, MTN SA

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