MTN Becomes First African Telco to Invest in the Metaverse

MTN, the largest telecommunication company in Africa, has joined the metaverse with its partnership with Africarare. This development represents a first from a traditional telecommunications company in the region and shows the growing popularity of blockchain in Africa.

MTN Purchases 144 Plots of Virtual Land

MTN revealed this development in a statement on its website and added that it would be purchasing 144 plots of virtual land on Africarare. The telco giant revealed that the investment was part of its commitment towards supporting new African innovation and noted its intention to expand its customer base through web 3.0.

“This investment demonstrates MTN’s commitment to supporting African innovation as it is the first company on the continent to support an initiative of this kind. Through its presence in the metaverse, MTN intends to increase its customer attractiveness through a series of experiences merged with consumer passion points, like gaming and music’’. 

Africarare is a virtual reality metaverse that incorporates similar features to Decentraland. Users can own virtual land, develop properties and create avatars that can explore its metaverse ecosystem. Last year, it sold out its debut Non-fungible token (NFT) art collection for about $50,000.

Since its launch in October 2021, it has gained traction within the local tech space and the partnership with MTN is a major one for the platform. The telcos giant has a customer base of over 100 million users across several African countries and can foster the growth of the NFT platform.

Speaking on the development, MTN’s Group Executive for Marketing, Bernice Samuels noted, “This is an exciting moment for us as we lead businesses on the continent to enter the metaverse marketplace. This is exactly what our Ambition 2025 strategy is premised

on – leveraging trends that amplify consumers’ digital experiences and engagement.

He added:

“We have always been at the forefront of technological and digital changes, and we remain alive to the exciting opportunities the metaverse presents for us and our customers’’ South African advertising agency M&C Saatchi Abel also purchased its own plot of land in the newly created Ubuntuland.

More Traditional Companies Joining the Metaverse

MTN’s decision to purchase virtual lands continues the current trend of traditional companies towards the metaverse. Facebook made headlines when it rebranded to ‘’Meta’’ in acknowledgment of the metaverse and has committed huge amounts of money towards achieving its goals.

Another fortune 500 company like Walmart has followed suit with the retail giant working on launching its metaverse. While American banking juggernaut JP Morgan recently bought a lounge in the highly popular Decentraland metaverse.

Despite these developments, there are some platforms like gaming giant Nintendo that are uncertain about developing its metaverse. Critics claim that most metaverse platforms are basically a bubble waiting to burst.

Nevertheless, the metaverse sector has continued to grow, with crypto platforms like Decentraland and The Sandbox witnessing millions in daily transactions. However, many see Africa as slow to adopt new technologies, and the move from MTN is huge towards adopting the metaverse in the sub-region.

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