It is always startling when South African brands leap out from presentations at international conferences. Typically, this happens when global organisations parade their “logos” — conference-speak for the set of brands they are able to show off. Several South African logos make repeat appearances in these showcases, and it’s not unusual to see the likes of Standard Bank, Absa and FNB featured, though sporadically.

However, at this week’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2024 in Barcelona, the world’s biggest telecommunications event, one brand came up again and again. MTN not only appeared as a logo for major global players, but made waves in its own right with a series of news-making announcements...

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