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MTN To Boost 5G Adoption With Smartphone Financing
Published Mar 23, 2023 IN Business,
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GSM giant, MTN Nigeria has said it is following up with its 5G rollout with an initiative that will allow many Nigerians to own 5G-enabled smartphones.

Through a smartphone financing initiative supported by Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), such as Samsung, Techno, Nokia, Infinix and iTel, among oth­ers, MTN said Nigerians will now be able to acquire smartphones with ease. Before now, industry experts have identified the high cost of smartphones, especially, 5G-enabled ones as a major barrier to 5G adoption in Nigeria.

MTN, at a press conference in Lagos, said it has also discovered this as a major challenge. It said this in­formed its decision to partner with Intelligra, an open platform for smartphone financing in Nigeria, the OEMs, Stanbic IBTC Bank and popular gadget retail store, Slot, to own smartphones and pay over a long period without any initial deposit. Speaking at the press conference, the Chief Marketing Officer of MTN Nigeria, Adia Sowho said: “Smartphones have become the computer for many Nigerians today. Unfortunately, the high costs of these devices have made them out of reach for many. Factors such as forex fluctuation, chipset shortages and inflation are continuously driving up the cost of phones.”

She added that existing financing initiatives come with many challenges, which include high-interest rates and upfront initial deposits. “We began our partnership with Intelligra in January 2022 and we have opened over 200 channel outlets where people can walk in and get a smart­phone with zero initial deposit and repayment overtime with airtime. Through this initiative, we have financed over 20,000 devices. With the launch of 5G, MTN is deepening its partnership with Intelligra to drive 5G mobile device growth. By 2023, we want to achieve 1,000 units of de­vices daily transactions even as we onboard more outlets, especially in the North,” she added.

Also speaking, the Chief Executive Officer of Intelligra, Mr. Tayo Ogundipe, said smartphone financing is an ini­tiative that is prevalent in many developed countries, en­abling people to acquire any device of their choice and pay over time. “With our smartphone financing programme, we want to empower more people to own smart devices, not only in Nigeria but across Africa,” he said.

With its commercial launch in September this year, MTN is the first and only network operator to have launched 5G in Nigeria. With the launch, Nigeria became the 3rd African country to deploy the technology after South Africa and Kenya.

The 5G technology, an upgrade to 4G currently be­ing delivered by all network operators in the country, enables much faster speeds and lower latency, giving customers near-instant access to the things they care about and downloads that take seconds, instead of min­utes. However, to receive the 5G signal, many Nigerians currently using 4G phones will have to change to 5G-enabled devices. Two telecommunications companies, MTN, and Mafab Communications won the 3.5GHz 5G spectrum licence at an auction conducted by the Nige­rian Communications Commission (NCC).


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