The South African mobile network operator, and also Africa’s largest operator, MTN Group has become the first company on the continent to enter the metaverse through its purchase of virtual land in Africarare’s Ubuntuland.
Africarare made its debut in South Africa in October 2021, and collaborated with Mann Made Media to establish the Ubuntuland Virtual Reality (VR) metaverse. Although still under development, Ubuntuland is the first metaverse in Africa to feature digital land.
Prior to the release of public land sales later this year, MTN purchased 144 plots in late February, measuring 12 by 12 metres in total, for an undisclosed amount.
Although being a form of technology that is arguable still within its infancy in some respect, MTN’s purchase of virtual land within the metaverse is a move poised to open dialogue around the role of technology in the real estate sector in Africa.
Interest in the metaverse appears to be only growing, with immense activity coming from the markets of North America, Europe and Asia. According to DappRadar, virtual land raked in $105.87million in sales in the last week of November 2021, and such a move from one of Africa’s largest network operators is set to place African interest in the metaverse firmly in the running.
“This is an exciting moment for us as we lead businesses on the continent to enter the metaverse marketplace. This is exactly what our Ambition 2025 strategy is premised on – leveraging trends that amplify consumer digital experiences and engagement,” Bernice Samuels, MTN’s group executive for marketing said. “We have always been at the forefront of technological and digital changes and we remain alive to the exciting opportunities the metaverse presents for us and our customers.”
This investment demonstrates MTN’s commitment to supporting African innovation as it is the first company on the continent to support an initiative of this kind.
Through its presence in the metaverse, MTN intends to increase its customer attractiveness through a series of experiences merged with consumer passion points, like gaming and music.