Huawei inked a business innovation agreement with MEA operator group MTN, extending a working relationship which dates back 17 years.

A statement disclosed the pair will work in areas spanning data service growth, rich media services, mobile financial services, enterprise and wholesale propositions. The agreement is said to “move MTN and Huawei beyond the traditional trading relationship” to include strategic research, business scenario planning, joint product development and joint go-to-market.

Jens Schulte-Bockum, COO of MTN, said: “In the historical cooperation between MTN and Huawei, Huawei helped MTN build a top-quality network with leading technologies, excellent quality, and zero network security incidents.”

Noting the company’s work in emerging markets, he continued: “To further eliminate the digital divide in these countries, improve people’s lives, and achieve the vision of Digital MTN, it is willing to work with Huawei to bring benefits to the public and society.”

“MTN attaches great importance to cybersecurity, which is a global technical challenge. MTN will work with global partners to solve this problem and provide sustainable, stable, and reliable digital services for the public and society.”

Last week, MTN said it expects to report an almost doubling in earnings for the year to 31 December 2018 when it releases figures on 7 March. It noted that following a resolution with Central Bank of Nigeria, its business in the country has resumed dividend payments to shareholders.