JOHANNESBURG, Nov 18 (Reuters) - South African grocery
retailer Pick n Pay will start providing mobile phone
services to try to grow its value-added and financial services
business, seeking to drive down data costs for its customers.
Rather than building infrastructure, Pick n Pay will operate
as a mobile virtual network operator, or MVNO, using MTN's
mobile network infrastructure to offer customers
prepaid, SIM-based access to services including airtime, data,
and SMS, sold under its PnP Mobile brand, it said on Wednesday.
MVNOs, which typically target the value segment, lease
wireless capacity at wholesale prices and resell it at reduced
"Our country has a very high mobile phone penetration, but
data costs have been a barrier. We believe expanding our
services to enter the mobile market will benefit millions of our
customers," said Richard van Rensburg, Chief Technology and
Services Officer at Pick n Pay.
Africa's most industrialised economy has one of the highest
data prices on the continent, according to Competition
commissioner Tembinkosi Bonakele. Data costs have come down
after mobile operators were forced to cut prices last year.
PnP Mobile, which joins retail peer Mr Price in the
MVNO space, will be linked to the retailer's Smart Shopper
loyalty rewards program.
(Reporting by Nqobile Dludla
Editing by Keith Weir)