South Africa-based operator group MTN became the latest member of the Ubuntu Carrier Advisory Group, after Mark Shuttleworth told Mobile World Live in an exclusive interview that relationships with these partners are “essential” to the success of the Ubuntu platform in the mobile space.
According to GSMA Intelligence data, MTN has more than 150 million connections, across a number of African markets including (in order of size of the operator) Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda and Cameroon.
Pieter Verkade, chief commercial officer at MTN Group, said: “Today’s phones are so much more than just telephones and Ubuntu will be able to meet needs of operators and handset manufacturers looking to take advantage of the latest technology and cutting costs.”
However, as yet there is still some way to go before the launch of devices – Shuttleworth indicated around six months – and the platform is notably lacking in stated vendor support.
In his interview with Mobile World Live, the Canonical founder said that “a core part of our positioning is as a platform that integrates services from operators and carriers”.