CHASE To Accelerate Digital Inclusion- MTN

Enzo Scarcella

CHASE To Accelerate Digital Inclusion- MTN

Olabisi Olaleye

With a clear-cut ambition to proffer digital solutions by 2025, MTN Group introduced the acronym ‘CHASE’ to ensure that everyone in its markets enjoys the benefits of a modern connected life.

Chase is about Coverage, Handsets, Affordability, Service building, Education and ease of access.

MTN said CHASE is about inclusion, where people must not be behind, regardless of location, age or socioeconomic standing.

Enzo Scarcella

MTN Group Consumer Executive Enzo Scarcella, while explaining what CHASE tends to achieve, said,  “People also need 3G-enabled handsets; affordable data; relevant service offerings; as well as education to equip them with the skills to make the most of all that the mobile internet has to offer.

“CHASE clearly defines the work we need to do and helps keep everyone at MTN focused. Extending digital and financial inclusion across the African continent also supports the group’s strategic priority to create shared value”.

Coverage: To ensure sufficient coverage in rural areas, in 2021, we increased the number of rollout partners and introduced new partnership models, rolling out 912 rural sites. This expanded coverage to more than 23 million people in rural areas, up from 8.5 million in 2020. By the end of 2021, MTN’s total broadband coverage was 83 percent of the population. Through MTN Global Connect, we continued to build the infrastructure to connect African countries and the rest of the world.

We rolled out more than 15 000km of terrestrial fibre, bringing our total footprint to  100 000km.

Handsets:  To increase the affordability of and customer access to data-enabled devices, in 2021, we placed 3.1 million 3G and 4G devices in the hands of our customers. We increased the number of vendors from whom we procure handsets and with whom we have agreements, ensuring that customers can access after-sales service. We also offered an MTN-approved device that is 20% cheaper than a comparable handset. By partnering with M-KOPA, we supported device financing to customers in Uganda and Ghana. In 2022, we are extending this to Nigeria and Zambia.

Affordability: To increase data service affordability, in 2021, we reduced our effective data tariff by 15.3 percent. To test affordability in line with United Nations and ECOWAS guidelines, we benchmarked MTN data pricing across operations. We found that 11 MTN markets have data prices within the UN’s recommended affordability range.

Service bundling: To create service offerings that are relevant, simple and meaningful to customers, in 2021, we provided different customer groups with other propositions, tailoring our offerings to include microbundles, social media bundles and XtraByte – a service that allows customers to borrow data when they run out. We also introduced YouTube streaming bundles for entry-level users.

Education and ease of access: To enhance digital literacy and the comfort with which data can be accessed, in 2021, we will train 24 million people in the 12 markets in which we offer our ‘MTN Data-Smart’ digital literacy programme. This zero-rated programme improves people’s basic understanding of the mobile internet and applications.