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MTN, Intelligra launch smartphone finance plan in Nigeria

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MTN Nigeria and Intelligra have signed a deal to grow smartphone penetration to 60% by 2025 through a Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) option. The two companies announced the partnership during a press conference in the Nigerian city of Lagos.

Even though the west African country has the highest number of Internet users in Africa, the country still has one of the highest average costs of smartphones, The Sun Online reports.

"With this partnership, customers will have the opportunity to subscribe to any of the MTN bundle plans for as low as 7,000 Nigerian naira per month (US$15.89) and walk away with a smartphone of their choice," said MTN Nigeria Chief Marketing Officer Adia Sowho.

How does the offer work?

She added that 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.

Customers will also get access to a one-time free broken screen replacement and they'll receive a one-time stolen phone replacement, provided the customer has an active and up-to-date subscription, Sowho continued.

"The partnership with Intelligra will drive financial inclusion, the digital goals of financing devices and making them accessible to the average man. It would also grant customers access to the internet, entertainment, and education and allow users to communicate easily," she concluded.

Intelligra Solutions Ltd founder and CEO Tayo Ogundipe said the partnership with MTN has helped to find a solution to smartphone penetration for Africans through increased digital and financial inclusion.

Road to smartphone penetration

Apart for smartphone penetration, MTN Nigeria intends to drive the adoption of 5G, which the telco rolled out in August this year.

The telco rolled out its network infrastructure in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Ibadan, Kano, Owerri and Maiduguri, adding that customers with certain 5G-enabled devices will be allowed to connect with and try out the new service where coverage is available.

Want to know more about 4G and 5G in Africa? Check out our dedicated 4G/5G content channel here on Connecting Africa.

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

"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 concluded.

The move by the two companies is in line with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC)'s aim to increase the country's Internet penetration by 2025.

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*Top image source: Image by wayhomestudio on Freepik.

— Matshepo Sehloho, Associate Editor, Connecting Africa

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