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Speed and innovation drive mobile web growth in South Africa

December 22, 2010

MTN South Africa and Opera Software announce joint initiative

Johannesburg, South Africa, and Oslo, Norway - 22 December 2010

The fast-growing market for mobile Internet access in South Africa is set to pick up further speed as MTN and Opera Software have joined forces to introduce a special, co-branded version of Opera Mini, the world's most popular mobile web browser. As a result of this initiative, MTN subscribers can now enjoy a faster and more affordable web experience through one-click access to MTN's Play entertainment portal, as well easier access to any other website.

The introduction of the co-branded version of Opera Mini marks a key step in MTN South Africa's small-screen strategy of enabling an enhanced internet user experience on mobile phones. By offering faster internet access to any website, as well as easy entry to MTN's own portal, www.mtnplay.co.za for any Java-enabled mobile phone, which encompasses the vast majority of mobile phones in use, MTN subscribers will now be empowered to consume the content they want, faster and more affordably. With one click, users can access music, news, games and information on MTN products and services via their MyMTN page on the MTN Play portal.

"At MTN South Africa, we believe that access to communication empowers people," said Serame Taukobong, Chief Marketing Officer at MTN South Africa. "By working with Opera, we can deliver our customers a better value browsing experience, lowering the barriers to spending time online. Furthermore, by leveraging our world-class network, MTN customers will get the best of both worlds from this partnership."

"Over the past few years, we have observed the explosion of mobile web usage across Africa. MTN South Africa has been leading the way, with their strong customer focus and innovative solutions," says Lars Boilesen, CEO, Opera Software. "The further growth of the mobile Web depends on our joint ability to understand and enhance the user experience. We look forward to working closely with MTN South Africa in building a large and happy user base."

The Opera Mini mobile browser offers many of the features from the Opera desktop browser, such as tabs, bookmarks, password manager and Speed Dial. Compression technology reduces web content by up to 90 percent, allowing Opera Mini users to get webpages significantly faster than with any other mobile browser and at a lower cost.

South Africa currently has the highest number of Opera Mini users in Africa and the sixth-highest number of users globally. Unique users of Opera Mini in South Africa grew 59.5 percent between November 2009 and November 2010, alongside growth in the number of page views of 114 percent. Opera Mini is the world's most popular mobile browser, with 80 million monthly users across the globe.

The South-Africa-based MTN Group is the leading telecoms operator in Africa, with 21 operations spanning across the continent and the Middle East.

Existing Opera Mini users subscribing to MTN South Africa will be automatically updated to the special co-branded version when they next run Opera Mini. New users can download it for free from the customized MTN Opera Mini link, m.opera.com using their default mobile browser.

About the MTN Group

Launched in 1994, the MTN Group is a multinational telecommunications group, operating in 21 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The MTN Group is listed on the JSE Securities Exchange in South Africa under the share code: "MTN".

As at 30 September 2010, MTN recorded 134,5 million subscribers across its operations in Afghanistan, Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Cote d"Ivoire, Cyprus, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Republic, Iran, Liberia, Nigeria, Republic of Congo (Congo Brazzaville), Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Uganda, Yemen and Zambia. The MTN Group was a global sponsor of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africaâ„¢ and has exclusive mobile content rights for Africa and the Middle East. Visit www.mtn.com and www.mtnfootball.com

About Opera

Opera enables more than 350 million internet consumers worldwide to connect with the content and services that matter most to them. Opera also helps publishers monetize their content through advertising and advertisers reach the audiences that build value for their businesses, capitalizing on a global consumer audience reach that exceeds 1 billion.

Opera is a trademark of Opera Software AS.