MTN reactivates 2.6m barred SIMs, gets 5.7m new subscribers in six months
• Activates 370 rural sites, expends N311b on CAPEX
Technology firm, MTN said since the directive from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for all operators to restrict outgoing calls for subscribers whose SIMs are not associated with NINs, approximately 10 million of those affected have submitted their NIN, of which about 2.6 million have been reactivated following verification by National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).
MTN said it will continue to engage its affected customers and support NIMC in accelerating NIN enrolment in the country.
MTN Nigeria Chief Executive Officer, Karl Toriola, stated this in the company’s unaudited results for the half year-ended June 30, 2022.
Toriola said in the H1, the firm deployed capex of N311.6 billion to accelerate the rollout of 4G network, which now covers 75.3 per cent (compared to 65.1 per cent in H1 2021) of the population and accounts for 77.9 per cent of data traffic (compared to 67.2 per cent in H1 2021).
He said in addition, having acquired one lot of 100MHz in the 3.5GHz spectrum band from the NCC, the firm is on track to launch 5G services across the country in Q3 2022, adding that the technology delivers significantly higher speeds and lower latency, potentially unlocking many new use cases for consumers and enterprises, while improving network economics.
The MTN boss said the firm maintained strong commercial momentum with a net addition of 5.7 million mobile subscribers in H1.
“This reflects a pleasing acceleration in the run-rate of monthly net additions during Q2, following the initial impact of the restriction of outgoing calls placed on subscribers, who had not submitted their NIN as at April 4, 2022. Our aggressive drive for gross connections supported this recovery as we ramped up SIM registration and NIN enrolment capacity.
“We added 2.5 million active data subscribers in H1 as we continued to drive data conversion from the new and existing subscriber base. In addition, we continue to enhance the quality and coverage of our network to accommodate the increasing demand for data.
“We achieved some important strategic milestones in H1 towards delivering our Ambition 2025 strategy. This includes the final approval for our MoMo Payment Service Bank (PSB) and the commencement of commercial operations on May 19, 2022, leveraging the solid foundation of our existing MoMo business.
“We are pleased with the progress since the launch and excited about the prospects of our fintech business and driving financial inclusion in the country. As at the end of June 2022, we recorded 4.2 million registered MoMo wallets of which 2.4 million are active, generating MoMo transaction volume of approximately seven million within six weeks of operations.
The MTN boss said in line with the company’s dividend policy, the Board of Directors has approved an interim dividend of N5.60 kobo per share to be paid out of distributable net income. He explained that this represents a growth of 23.1 per cent over the N4.55 kobo per share paid in H1 2021.
FURTHER, he said as part of work to build sustainable societies, the firm has made good progress on its rural telephony journey. “During H1 2022, we added 370 rural sites, bringing the total to 1,553. We remain committed to driving increased telecommunications access to the unconnected.”
He added that MTN Nigeria Foundation continued its programs, training over 900 youths across six states in the 2022 edition of the ICT and business skills training, of which 200 people received equipment grants totaling N40 million.
“In addition, the Foundation completed and handed over fully furnished ICT Labs in 27 public secondary schools in 23 States, installed solar-powered boreholes in 16 states, and upgraded seven primary health care centres across the country,” he stated.