MTN, Huawei open Tech Innovation Lab in Joburg

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 17 Apr 2024
MTN and Huawei cut the ribbon to officially open the Technology Innovation Lab.
MTN and Huawei cut the ribbon to officially open the Technology Innovation Lab.

MTN Group, in partnership with Huawei, has officially inaugurated a Technology Innovation Lab at the telco’s headquarters in Johannesburg.

In a statement, the firms say this marks an advancement in their ongoing collaboration across diverse digital fields.

Initially announced during Mobile World Congress 2024, when the parties signed a memorandum of understanding, the lab aims to further deepen their collaboration, accelerating digital transformation and sustainable development across Africa, they note.

According to the companies, the Technology Innovation Lab is poised to be a catalyst for digital progress in Africa. By fostering cross-regional collaboration, they say, it will stimulate the African digital ecosystem and promote the rapid development, deployment and adoption of cutting-edge, innovative solutions.

The lab plays a crucial role in MTN’s evolution, moving beyond the traditional telecommunications operator role, to become a provider of comprehensive technology services, says the telco.

Research and development within the lab will concentrate on vital areas, including 5G and 5G-A technologies, artificial intelligence, big data analytics, cloud computing, fibre-to-the-home, automation and digital financial services.

During a tour of the facilities at the launch event, visitors were shown several technology use cases across network, fintech, information technology and security.

Ralph Mupita, president and CEO of MTN Group, says: “This lab further demonstrates our commitment to developing relevant, sustainable and transformative solutions designed specifically for the African context and signifies a strategic investment in Africa's future – it’s about solutions born in Africa, for Africa.

‘It will catalyse the growth of the digital economy, fostering innovation and generating long-lasting opportunities to empower communities and advance the continent's development.”

Mazen Mroué, chief technology and information officer of MTN Group, emphasised during the event: “The Technology Innovation Lab is more than just a hub for tech; it's a platform for collaboration, demonstrating our technology capabilities resulting from the continuous investment made by MTN during the last 30 years.

“It is a space where the best minds can come together, share ideas and push the boundaries of what’s possible. By working closely, we can leverage each other’s strengths and the collective brilliance of Africa’s innovators to create solutions that will transform lives. This collaborative spirit is what will unlock the true potential of this lab.”

Cao Ming, president of Huawei wireless solutions, says: “We will collaborate with MTN to create leading products and solutions for the African market, and together explore new business models to lead the industry forward. We believe the establishment of the innovation lab will accelerate the development of Africa's digital economy and build a more prosperous and sustainable African continent.”

The Technology Innovation Lab will serve as a hub for experimentation, demonstration and skill-building, the companies note. It is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and resources designed to support cutting-edge research and development initiatives.

The lab is open to MTNers, partners and other stakeholders based on prior reservation to access the facility, they conclude.