In Nigeria, MTN wants to drive 5G adoption with smartphone financing

MTN Nigeria in partnership with Intelligra, an open platform for smartphone financing has launched a smartphone financing initiative.

In Nigeria, MTN wants to drive 5G adoption with smartphone financing
Adia Sowho, the Chief Marketing Officer, MTN Nigeria and other partners 

MTN has partnered with Intelligra to launch a financing scheme that will grow smartphone penetration in Nigeria to 60% by 2025 through a Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) option.

According to a 2021 report by Alliance for Affordable Internet, only about 44% of over 206 million Nigerians have access to smartphones, the report stated that there is a disparity between the prices of smartphones and the average income earned in Nigeria.

The cost of the cheapest smartphone in Nigeria, per Alliance for Affordable Internet is ₦25,000 representing 37.46% of Nigerians' average monthly income, while the global average is 20%. The report stated that the cheapest 4G smartphone in Nigeria currently sells for about 35,000, amidst the country's 30,000 minimum wage.

"With this partnership, customers will have the opportunity to subscribe to any of the MTN bundle plans for as low as N7,000/month and walk away with a smartphone of their choice," Adia Sowho, the Chief Marketing Officer, MTN Nigeria, said.

According to Sowho, these customers can "pay over six to 12 months with as little as no initial deposit; plans are bundled with up to 100GB of data and 250 voice minutes monthly as well as redeem a one-time free screen replacement when broken and receive a one-time free phone replacement when stolen, provided the customer has an active and up-to-date subscription."

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The MTN smartphone financing initiative is supported by Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) such as Samsung, TECNO, Nokia, Infinix, and iTel. 

Aside from smartphone penetration, the telecom intends to also drive the adoption of its 5G mobile network that was rolled out in August 2022. "Through this initiative [launched in January 2022], 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," Sowho added.

Related Article: What you need to know about the MTN 5G router

As its launch in August, MTN Nigeria rolled out its 5G network across 190 sites across nine states—Anambra, Borno, Delta, Edo, Imo, Kano, Lagos, Rivers, Oyo—and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja—becoming the first telecommunication provider in Nigeria to roll out the network. The 5G sites are expected to increase to 600 by the end of October 2022.