In view of the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, MTN has announced it will be offering free international calls and SMS to all existing prepaid and postpaid customers, effective immediately. This offer is aimed at supporting customers to stay in touch with their loved ones while eliminating associated International Direct Dialing (IDD) costs due to high International Telecommunication Regulations (ITR) to Ukraine.
“We understand that some of our customers in Ukraine have experienced challenges to contact their loved ones. As a result, we have stepped in with support to ensure that our customers, both at home and in Ukraine, are still able to connect with family and friends, All of our customers will benefit from the waived SMS and voice call fees to and from Ukraine. This blanket waiver has been put in place as an immediate response to the need,” the statement, bylined by the MTN CEO, Karl Toriola, read.
Sources reveal each existing active subscriber on the network will receive 30 mins of free voice calls and 50 free SMS. The offer will be valid all through the month of March and customers will be able to check minutes/SMS allocated, volume used, balance and expiry date. Unused complimentary minutes will expire on 31st March or on any earlier date as advised across all phone numbers and will not rollover.
Additionally, the company has also anticipated concerns with regards to connection issues and has implemented surefire measures to ensure uninterrupted connectivity.
“We’ve worked closely with our industry body GSMA to make the connection easier. Whilst MTN does not have operations in Ukraine, we have heeded the call to remain responsive to our customers in their time of need.” the statement continued.
MTN’s intervention comes as Russian troops push further into Ukraine, with hundreds of thousands, including Nigerians, stranded and fleeing the country for safety. Citing data from the government, an estimated 4,000 Nigerians were studying in tertiary institutions across Ukraine in 2020 – the highest number of African indigenes in the country, alongside Morocco.