MTN chief executive Rob Shuter with Li Huidi of China Mobile, Adam Zeng of UNISCO  and Sebastien Codeville of KaiOS. Photo: Twitter
MTN chief executive Rob Shuter with Li Huidi of China Mobile, Adam Zeng of UNISCO and Sebastien Codeville of KaiOS. Photo: Twitter
MTN chief executive Rob Shuter discussing the launch of the device at a press conference in Cape Town. Photo: Gabriella Steyn
MTN chief executive Rob Shuter discussing the launch of the device at a press conference in Cape Town. Photo: Gabriella Steyn
MTN announced a new smart feature device. Photo: Gabriella Steyn
MTN announced a new smart feature device. Photo: Gabriella Steyn

CAPE TOWN – MTN today announced a partnership with China Mobile, chipset maker UNISCO and KaiOS technology to launch a new smart feature 3G device.

The announcement was made at a press conference during AfricaCom in Cape Town today.

The aim of the device is to allow users access to the internet without paying a large cost of money for a phone.

MTN Chief executive Rob Shuter said: "The biggest challenge in the market is that consumers do not earn enough income to purchase devices that have access to the internet.

"MTN has 220 million customers and only 72 million of those customers have devices that have access to mobile internet."

The smart feature phone will be an MTN branded device available for MTN consumers, will have a price tag of $20 (R290) and be ready to purchase in the first quarter of 2019. 

China Mobile and MTN expect to sell around 10 million models over the next three years.

The device has yet to receive a name but will run on KaiOS and have access to apps such as Google Maps, Facebook and YouTube. 

Shuter added that the device will be made available in South Africa.

BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE