MTN War On WhatsApp Calls: Innovate Or Die!!!

 So the war among the Telcos in Ghana taken a new twist.

Whiles Tigo is busily encouraging us to drop our yams so we can get smartphones because on ‘Tigo Tribe’ WhatsApp is free; MTN is saying no, smartphones are useless, go back to your yam days.


Because if you have a smartphone, you are going to download WhatsApp to not only chat with your friends (thereby making their SMS promotions useless), you’re also going to use the technology to make calls for free to your relatives not only in Ghana but America as well.

What would you do if you’re the CEO of the number one telecommunication network in Ghana? You call for regulations to protect you so you continue reaping where you have not sown because to you technology is a killer.

But I have bad news for MTN’s CEO and other business owners who think they can use that old one-way business model to make profit for their shareholders forever….innovate or die!.MTN War On WhatsApp Calls

If you go to MTN’s website,one of the key core values boldly displayed is the word ‘Innovation’. Which they simplified to mean; Simplicity, Imagination, Insight, Creativity. They also spoke about ‘doing things differently’.

How then is it that the same values they hold dear to their heart is what technological companies like WhatsApp and Viber are using to provide innovative services to their clients and they are now against it?.

The sense I get from the desperate calls for regulations of Over- the-Top (OTT) services is a clear sign of a company at its wits end.

An example of a ‘Fortune 500 company’ as Americans call them which is about to go bust because it’s refusing to adapt to the changing times.

A CEO’s position is untenable after a poor performance, so what does he do?

He goes about picking fights he cannot win but in the process gives himself a spot in the limelight and shows that he’s working for shareholders interest.

Isn’t it ironic that while MTN is busy banning us from making calls; WhatsApp is releasing the desktop version of its app?

Everywhere you go: WhatsApp is now available on your Desktop.

As a savvy business, WhatsApp is not only happy being on your phone, they want to follow you ‘everywhere you go’ (that sounds familiar right?).

So please MTN, you’re an industry leader, behave as such.

It means you innovate. You continue to give your customers what they want and you build trust and good services. After that everything else would be like ‘koko for you’.

Why MTN paa, did you buy the 4G spectrum to connect to my yam phone so I could call my mum in the village?

Mr. CEO brace yourself wai. The same way WktohatsApp killed your SMS, it’s the same way it’s going to kill your voice calls rip offs.

The simple marketing tips I learnt from reading self-help books say that if a competitor is doing it better than you, you don’t hate and try to use legalities (regulations) to kill their business, instead, you compete by innovating (constantly), offering better quality, having speed of execution and of course at a cheaper rate whiles you look for better ways to maximizing profit for your shareholders.

At MTN, you’re still in business because thanks to weak governmental policies, over 95% of your customers are on prepaid. This means that no matter the poor services, I still have to buy a scratch card before I can make the next call.

Do you know what having customers pay upfront before you provide a service means to any business?

But as for this WhatsApp call banning (regulating) war dieer, you are not going to win. We are not only going to have free WhatsApp calls, we are also going to have free video calls…on our smartphones…without sim cards very soon.

Yep. That is where the world is heading.

You might as well get your acts to together, go hard on innovation and adapt to these latest technological trends or die.

By Jerry Adu-Asare, is a Social Media Consultant and a Brand Journalist. Connect with him on Twitter @JerryAduAsare.

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