By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Leading telecommunications company in the country, MTN Nigeria, has said over 2 billion SMS were sent by more than 44 million subscribers on its network during the present COVID-19 period.
When President Muhammadu Buhari declared a lockdown in Lagos, Abuja and Ogun State in late March 2020 to contain the spread of coronavirus in the country, MTN Nigeria said it was supporting government with free SMS.
The telco offered its subscribers 300 free messages per month to help them keep in touch with loved ones during the cessation of movements.
Giving an update on the utilisation of MTN network contributions to support during the pandemic, the CEO of MTN, Mr Ferdi Moolman, said, “Since we began providing free SMS per month to our subscribers, more than 2 billion SMS have been sent by more than 44 million subscribers, demonstrating the universal appeal and accessibility of SMS as a communications service.
“We are proud to have been able to reach so many people and are committed to continuing to provide this service.
“As we continue to navigate this pandemic, we are focusing our efforts on trying to ensure no one is left behind.”
Recall that MTN made a direct financial contribution of N1 billion to government through a coalition of corporate organisations.
The firm also supported the fight against COVID-19 by federal and state governments. It also supported the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) through the donation of devices, airtime, SMS channel and data.
Business Post gathered that as at May 15, 2020, MTN has given about 3000 Terrabytes of free data utilised to access zero-rated health websites and access to its Ayobo messaging app.
The organisation has given over 1.7 million free money transfers by about 100,000 people using its MoMo Agent Network.
In its first quarter earnings, MTN complained that during the global health crisis, there was a decline in voice calls, but an increase in data usage.
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