Below are some frequently asked questions about how MTN is responding to COVID-19.

Workplace

Has MTN Group recorded any employees with COVID-19?
– MTN has 31 reported cases of employees who have been infected with the virus.

If so, which region is the hardest hit in terms of MTN’s operations?
– Iran is the most affected MTN market.

Has MTN closed any of its offices?
– The company has implemented a work from home plan for employees across the footprint.

What measures is your company taking to prepare for a potential coronavirus outbreak within your markets?
– Various preventative measures have been put in place to protect our employees:

  • Work-from-home plans
  • Provision of hand sanitizers
  • Temperature screening at some of our offices
  • Restrictions on international and domestic travel.
  • A mailbox has also been set up for employees to submit queries or concerns they may have.

As the possibility of employees working from home grows, what are MTN’s solutions for customer service call centres?
– MTN will ensure that our customer service call centres remain operational.

How long will travel restrictions be applied?
– The duration will be determined by international health bodies such as the World Health Organisation and the Ministries of Health in all the countries in which we operate.

 


 

MTN operations

What has been the impact on your operations? How have customers been affected?
– MTN’s operations have not been affected to date. It’s important that we ensure the reliability and sustainability of our network during this pandemic.  Furthermore, we have developed robust products and services to assist our customers.

How has your inventory/critical spares stock up progressed given that everyone would be trying to do the same?
– We have also made a concerted effort to ensure business continuity.  Our services over this time will be even more critical, so a priority is ensuring network continuity, availability of spares and equipment and the upgrading of capacity.

Have African mobile operators received any information that there might be a tighter supply of smartphones?
– MTN’s smartphone vendors have indicated that COVID-19 has had an impact on the smartphone supply chain; we are working with them on a risk mitigation plan.

How has corona impacted your business?
– We have robust contingency plans in place to ensure the sustainability of our supply chain and anticipate a negligible impact on our operations.
There has been negligible impact on our operations thus far.

 


 

 MTN Customers and communities  

Will MTN’s network strength be able to support people that will be working from home / quarantine?
– Absolutely, the efficacy and bandwidth of our network is ensured.

Is MTN going to provide more cost-effective data and call rates, especially with more customers logging into their personal hotspots, to accommodate working from home and quarantine?
– We understand that customers will be constrained, therefore we are exploring ways to keep them connected.

Will MTN support schools and universities that have shut down with remote learning via online access?
– We are exploring various ways to support educational and other institutions during this period of uncertainty.

How will MTN support customers, communities and other stakeholders during this period?
MTN’s priority is keeping people connected during this period.  We need to play our part in the alleviation of the economic, social and educational impact through the support of key institutions such as Health and Education.  We have started rolling out a series of mobile connectivity, digital and mobile fintech solutions for communities across MTN’s markets.

We are also ramping up the roll-out of relief products under our Y’ello Hope package including the supporting of governments and other stakeholders to convey vital information via mobile and digital platforms to keep people safe. Offering the zero-rating of school and university sites to enable learners to access core curriculum and facilitate distance learning and zero-rating some transactions on our Mobile Money platforms in a number of our markets.

MTN has announced a R250 million relief package to tackle COVID-19 across its footprint. What will the funds be used for?
-MTN plays a vital role in the mobile and telecommunications industry across Africa and the Middle East and it is vital that we assist our employees, customers and stakeholders during this difficult time. Comprising five key intervention initiatives, the Group has focused on employees, customers, vulnerable groups, contributions to the South African Government’s Solidarity Fund and participating in industry interventions.

– The Group plans to raise R40 million for the MTN Global Staff Emergency Fund for employees in need.

– Over R150 million will be invested in the Y’ello Hope Package for customers – this includes free SMS services, the waiving of fees for certain mobile money transactions, discounted calling during off-peak periods, zero-rating of certain health, social services and educational sites and payment concessions to our business customers

-MTN is also mobilising the work of the MTN Foundations across the markets to reach those most vulnerable through contributions towards tackling health emergencies to minimise the spread of COVID-19 and enabling students to remain productive by accessing vital school and university content with a total contribution of at least R50 million.

-MTN Group will also contribute R10 million to the South African Government’s Solidarity Fund.

Where will the funds come from?
-The funds will be raised by contributions from the Group’s directors, managers and general staff. The Chairman, Group CEO, Group CFO and a number of MTN Group directors have pledged 30% of their board fees and salaries for the next three months. The executive teams of both MTN Group and MTN South Africa have also contributed to the fund. In addition, other staff members can also contribute by making salary sacrifices.

Further reading