MTN Group Works to Bridge the Digital Divide, Connects 100 Million to the Internet

MTN has a total base of more than 257 million customers in 21 markets.

Access to the internet has the power to change lives and bridge inequalities and MTN Group reached a significant milestone by recording 100 million active data users on its networks across Africa and the Middle East.

“We believe that everyone deserves the benefits of a modern connected life,” said MTN Group president and CEO Rob Shuter. “We are delighted to have connected 100 million of our customers to the power of the internet as we have increased data coverage and reduced the cost to communicate across our markets.”

MTN has a total base of more than 257 million customers in 21 markets. Growth through scaling data and digital services is central to its strategy. The group is overcoming the barriers to greater mobile internet adoption by extending its 3G and 4G coverage, accelerating smartphone adoption and transforming prices.

In the past three years, well over 100 million more people in MTN’s footprint have been covered by its data network. This brings the group’s network coverage for data services to beyond 480 million people. However, about 60% of rural populations in Africa remain unconnected. To benefit from connectivity, they need affordable devices as well as the digital literacy to easily access relevant and meaningful content.

To support smartphone adoption, in 2019 MTN distributed 675,000 affordable data-enabled handsets across 12 markets. It also launched a digital literacy programme in nine markets, helping over three million people improve their understanding of the mobile internet and applications.

Data affordability is also key. In 2018 and 2019, MTN reduced entry-level data rates across its footprint by 60%. In 2019 alone, it cut the effective data price per megabyte by 34%.

“We believe the consumer mobile data market will grow enormously over the next few years,” said Shuter. “The COVID-19 pandemic has served to accelerate the adoption of mobile data, digital services and financial services. As a result, we have recorded increases of up to 50% in data volumes in some markets, as work and studying from home becomes a reality for many.”

“Over time our ambition is to grow our customer base to 300 million and for at least 2/3 to be accessing the power of the internet on an MTN network – so the 100 million achieved today marks the halfway mark in the MTN journey.”

About the MTN Group
Launched in 1994, the MTN Group is a leading emerging market operator with a clear vision to lead the delivery of a bold new digital world to our customers in 21 countries in Africa and the Middle East. We are inspired by our belief that everyone deserves the benefits of a modern connected life. The MTN Group is listed on the JSE Securities Exchange in South Africa under the share code “MTN”. We are pursuing our BRIGHT strategy with a major focus on growth in data, fintech and digital businesses.


  1. Hi Daily Observer Editorial or Webmaster Admin,

    This Paper, quoting MTN, stated in the last paragraph of the 6/26/20 article that, “We are inspired by our belief that everyone deserves the benefits of a modern connected life. The MTN Group is listed on the JSE Securities Exchange in South Africa under the share code “MTN.”

    Sir, MTN should publish its annual reports in order for Liberians to know if MTN is not paying excessive fees and bonuses to the chief executives and members of the board of directors. If MTN is paying excessive fees and bonuses, Liberians will not accept MTN’s comment that it is one of the business that believes in the statement, “…everyone deserves the benefits of modern connected life.”

    Sir, so, please encourage MTN to publish its annual report to allow the public to read and understand that MTN is actually serving in the interest of the public. By reviewing the income and expenses of MTN, the public will appreciate MTN’s contribution to society. I am aware that some businesses are not required by the Liberian Law to publish their annual reports. However, utility entities {i.e.,for example, National Port Authority (NPA), Liberian Electricity Corporation (LEC), Liberian Petroleum Refining Corporation (LPRC) and other entities such as MTN should publish their annual reports since they provide goods and services to the general public.

    Sir, I am also aware that you have indirectly asked Liberian-state owned entities (NPA, LEC, LPRC, etc} to publish their annual reports. In some articles, the writers indicated that these entities ended publishing their annual reports by the end of 2014 because former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf did not want the public to know that her government used cash of these state-owned entities to finance government operations.

    Nonetheless, Liberians want to see the schedule detailing operational expenses such as fees and bonuses paid to chief executives and members of the board, rent expense, charitable donations, etc.

  2. A simple google seach and you will find the PUBLIC traded company information…. you can dig into the income statement from there…however instead of asking MTN about their ceo pay, ask the people you elected and appointed about their uselessness… if we keep this nonsense up no legit business will come to Liberia only 419 and vulture capitalists… Our country reputation with investors legit ones is horrible horrible. It is known that our justice system is a den of thieves, leadership 0 respect and corupt and that includes legislatives and executives branches. THE LOCAL PPL too got plenty problem stealing just like leadership, no morals… amehn what happen so… some body swear us? We all got to do better mehn…

  3. Hi Eaddy,
    Thanks for reading my comments and offering a response. Sir, MTN has a public international financial statements, but I have not found financial statements about the entity that is registered in Liberia.

    If you have, please help me to have a copy by emailing the link to my email address.

    Again, there is no Liberian Law that requires a Limited Liability Company, partnership or ordinary corporation to publish its financial statements. Sir, I am aware of the issues of corruption, however, one of the ways businesses can help in reducing corruption, is for public entities to provide relevant information to the public.
    For instance, there is debate about an additional cost for data. The public will get to know if the proposed additional payment for the electronic data is an additional tax imposed by the Government or the cost is an additional revenue for MTN.

    So, disclosure is not only good for regulators or third parties, but it is also good for MTN.

    Thanks for your input.

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