Are you surprised that Nigerians could send so much SMS during this pandemic?
According to a new report, during this COVID 19 lockdown, the usage of SMS has increased probably because it’s free – as subscribers were discovered to have sent over 1-billion messages within the last month.
Though this mass of messages was largely free, checks on some operators revealed the rate of how customers made use of the SMS platform to send messages to one another.
For instance, a check on MTN showed that within five weeks of the lockdown, which made people work remotely, over one billion free text messages were sent by customers within the first four weeks of introducing the offer!
The free SMS package allows MTN Nigeria subscribers across the country to send 10 free SMS daily for 30 days to all networks.
Normally, the cost of a single SMS in Nigeria pegged at $0.01 (₦4). If all customers were to pay, they would have expended a total of ₦4-billion in one month alone. Predicting what will happen in the next two months will be next to impossible, however, the promise to offer SMS incentives was based on statistics which shows that over 30% of MTN customers are not data subscribers and are among the most vulnerable Nigerians being severely impacted by the virus outbreak.
Other incentives available during the roughly 70-million MTN customers during the period include free 100MB daily to access verified information on health platforms such as Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), World Health Organisation (WHO), and educational materials on MTN’s Teens platform, mPulse.
Besides, the company suspended transaction fees for all Cash2Cash transfers via its Mobile Money (MoMo) Agent Network.
No doubt MTN’s free packages have come in an important time where people have no other way to get in contact for business and important work other than through SMS and other messaging services.
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