Fairly deep into 2020, Pick n Pay announced its own MVNO service. That allows them to operate as a mobile and voice network operator, able to dish out SIM cards at will and allocate airtime/data to those SIM cards. Now it looks like Shoprite is following suit with its own mobile network service
According to TechCentral, CEO Pieter Engelbrecht this week said: “Very soon we will launch our own virtual network to enhance our customer data even further.”
Shoprite Mobile incoming
Even though this is by no means revolutionary, it must be said that Shoprite is currently Africa’s largest brick-and-mortar retailer, and its reach is almost unmatched. Investing in a virtual network could be an interesting product offering, if the data deals work out fairly affordable, of course.
Although it all sounds incredibly exciting, it seems plans to launch its MVNO is still in the very early stages. Engelbrecht said that it’s still too early to announce which network it will be partnering with or how the service would work. We also don’t have any indication of a timeline at the moment, so it could only launch in the latter half of 2021 for all we know.
On the other hand, Pick ‘n Pay launched immediately and partnered with MTN to piggyback on already built infrastructure. The retailer also worked its mobile data offerings into its Smart Shopper rewards programme.
Interestingly, however, Engelbrecht cites customer data collection as the main reason for its MVNO plans through Shoprite. “He sees his group using it in combination with the information it gets from its 17 million rewards members, the seven billion products sold a year and its 7.5 million monthly digital visitors,” TechCentral reports.