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Case
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Reference no. IMD-3-0830
Published by: Institute for Management Development (IMD)
Originally published in: 2000
Version: 13.11.2003
Length: 27 pages
Data source: Field research

Abstract

MTN was one of two mobile telephone operators in South Africa. It had grown rapidly since its founding in 1993, and by 1999 offered mobile telephony to over 1.3 million subscribers throughout the country. During the past year, it had expanded beyond its home market, setting up mobile telephone networks in Rwanda, Uganda and Swaziland. Most recently, it had won a license to operate in Africa''s most populous country, Nigeria. MTN''s strategic vision "To be the leading telecommunications operator on the African continent" was becoming a reality. MTN was now considering further international growth and had identified several additional countries. Timing was critical since some of them were soon offering licenses for bid, and if MTN didn''t enter now it could find itself shut out. Yet the attractions of further international growth were balanced by serious concerns. Domestic growth had already stretched the company''s resources. Some managers were concerned that foreign expansion might divert managerial attention from the critical home market, where MTN was locked in a head-to-head battle with Vodacom. How should MTN proceed with its strategy of international growth? This case can be used in conjunction with ''MTN: Managing in Africa'' (IMD-3-0831).
Industry:
Size:
1999 revenue ZAR4.45 billion, >2,200 employees
Other setting(s):
1999

About

Abstract

MTN was one of two mobile telephone operators in South Africa. It had grown rapidly since its founding in 1993, and by 1999 offered mobile telephony to over 1.3 million subscribers throughout the country. During the past year, it had expanded beyond its home market, setting up mobile telephone networks in Rwanda, Uganda and Swaziland. Most recently, it had won a license to operate in Africa''s most populous country, Nigeria. MTN''s strategic vision "To be the leading telecommunications operator on the African continent" was becoming a reality. MTN was now considering further international growth and had identified several additional countries. Timing was critical since some of them were soon offering licenses for bid, and if MTN didn''t enter now it could find itself shut out. Yet the attractions of further international growth were balanced by serious concerns. Domestic growth had already stretched the company''s resources. Some managers were concerned that foreign expansion might divert managerial attention from the critical home market, where MTN was locked in a head-to-head battle with Vodacom. How should MTN proceed with its strategy of international growth? This case can be used in conjunction with ''MTN: Managing in Africa'' (IMD-3-0831).

Settings

Industry:
Size:
1999 revenue ZAR4.45 billion, >2,200 employees
Other setting(s):
1999

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