MTN eyes 'second-to-none' customer experience through digital transformation

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Mohamad Kiwan, Group O&M officer and WECA CTIO, MTN

  • MTN is well into its digital transformation journey
  • It has been focusing on delivering a “second-to-none” user experience
  • To do so, the African operator has joined forces with Huawei

Pan-African operator MTN is looking to offer a “second-to-none” user experience, driven by its recently launched PACE framework, with a focus on enhanced digital infrastructure, operations and services.

In an interview with TelecomTV, MTN’s group O&M officer and WECA CTIO, Mohamad Kiwan, shared his insights into the African telco giant’s digital transformation journey and the efforts it has made to improve the customer experience. The focal point of this journey is its PACE (platform, agile, connectivity and experience), which the operator launched in 2022 as part of its broader Ambition 2025 strategy that aims to accelerate growth and maximise the value of MTN’s infrastructure assets and platforms.

Putting MTN’s digital transformation through its paces

Looking at some of the key aspects in the PACE framework, Kiwan explained that offering a “second-to-none”experience is paramount for MTN. To achieve it, the telco adopts the network net promoter score (N-NPS) and umlaut rankings to measure user experience. It also uses cross-domain data convergence and analysis to achieve “excellent network performance” and, as a result, satisfactory customer experience.

To achieve a “leading performance”, the company is also working towards having resilient and sustainable sites. It is using AI and machine learning (ML) to drive its operations and enhance performance, and is aiming to make its datacentres more energy efficient.

According to Kiwan, experience is “the most important touchpoint” between customers and networks, therefore, MTN is embracing user-level experience profiles, a network operations centre (NOC), a service operation centre (SOC), and optimisation synergy to “proactively manage experience problems” based on perception, analysis and decision-making. All of that, according to the executive, is helping to continuously improve the user experience.

MTN is also fostering business success through its efforts to grow its 4G and 5G user base, to develop WTTx (a 4G and 4.5G-based broadband access solution) and fixed wireless access (FWA), to boost fintech user development and to increase the user base of Ayoba, MTN’s “all-in-one app” that allows customers to chat, call, read, play and listen to music.

Digital transformation in action

Kiwan also delved into specific use cases in some of the markets in which it operates, where the telco has witnessed phased achievements.

In Ghana, where MTN is facing challenges and mounting pressure due to increased competition, the group has implemented a visualised and manageable user experience based on a digital platform. “By effectively correlating the innovative customer experience index (CEI) with N-NPS, MTN can quickly identify N-NPS problems. In addition, digital solutions are used to close problems, such as proactive VIP complaint management and scenario-based optimisation,” Kiwan explained.

As a result, he said, MTN has managed to maintain its leading position in the Ghanian market, to “greatly” increase the traffic volume and user throughput, and to enable overall business success.

Another example comes from Nigeria where the telco group has focused on the user experience on social media giant Facebook, an area in which the operator has been lagging behind its competitors. To overcome these challenges, it has proposed the concept of a model city, where MTN makes “full use of network data and digital methods, such as scenario-based optimisation, intelligent alarm compression and real-time task tracing, to digitalise the entire process” – from optimisation to operations and maintenance (O&M). In this use case, MTN has “not only surpassed our competitors in the Facebook experience but also achieved number one for both the Facebook experience and the N-NPS experience,” said Kiwan.

Collaboration with Huawei

MTN has been relying on Huawei as a strategic partner for improving its operations. As a result of their tieup, they have achieved three milestones, including deploying digital platforms via the transformation of managed services (between 2017 and 2019). In the second phase of their collaboration, completed between 2020 and 2022, the pair focused on improving the efficiency of digital O&M.

Starting in 2023, the current chapter of MTN and Huawei’s cooperation is designed to achieve “leading customer experience and business enablement”, driven by a digital platform with converged data.

MTN in the future

In the coming years, Kiwan explained that MTN’s primary focus will remain user experience and continuously improving the scores of N-NPS and umlaut rankings, to build a “second-to-none” experience and maintain its leading position.

“User experience directly reflects the health of the network and has a direct impact on revenue. We at MTN believe it’s time to shift operators’ focus from efficiency improvement to experience improvement to enable business success and provide better services for end users,” he added. These are also suggestions to other operators from Kiwan.

Finally, Kiwan said that he believes MTN’s journey – driven by the PACE framework, its commitment to achieving a “second-to-none” experience and its fruitful partnership with Huawei – is an example of a successful story of a telco giant at the forefront of digital transformation.

Recorded October 2023

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