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MTN Uganda and Vision Group boost access to digital newspapers with e-Paper partnership

Last week, Vision Group partnered with MTN Uganda to enable its newspaper readers be able to access and pay for e-paper content using MTN Mobile Money. An e-paper, is an electronic version of a physical copy/ publication.

Vision Group’s bouquet of e-Papers includes; The New Vision, Kampala Sun and the Luganda newspaper Bukedde. News content is further availed in user friendly formats like text, video and audio.

eVision, an electronic version of the New Vision newspaper/publications was launched on 1st April 2020 to address convenience in access to news on the-go and to address the urgency created by the COVID-19 pandemic, where customers were only accessing us online because of the stay-at-home measures. Since inception, five months ago, the service has been availed at no charge, and according to Mr. Robert Kabushenga, CEO of the Vision Group, about 20,000 people signed up to consume the digital version of the paper during the five-month free e-paper access, majority of whom were first time readers.. This to him is an indication that people are ready for the shift and the partnership is set to usher in a new era of accessing news in Uganda.

MTN Uganda, Vision Group Seal Payments Partnership for ePapers -  TowerPostNews
Robert Kabushenga speaking at the MTN New Vision Partnerhsip | Courtesy Image

The partnership between the biggest media house and the biggest telecom company in the country will definitely drive the media industry in a direction people have never thought about,” Kabushenga said. He added: “This will offer a much better user experience to readers. This is something that has never been done in Uganda.”

The partnership was sealed in a virtual signing ceremony of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Vision Group’s Chief Executive Officer/ Managing Director, Robert Kabushenga and Mr. Wim Vanhelleputte, CEO of MTN Uganda on behalf of MTN.

New Vision, Mtn Partner To Boost Access To Digital Newspapers
Robert Kabushenga signing an MOU with MTN at New Vision Head Office. | Image Courtesy of New Vision

Robert Kabushenga thanked eVision subscribers for participating in the free trial period; that lasted till yesterday August 31st, 2020. “Your feedback was useful in enhancing reader experience. This Vision Group and MTN partnership is yet another demonstration of our commitment to evolving media consumption in Uganda.”

“We have eased the cost of access to credible quality local and internal news anywhere, anytime”.

According to Wim Vanhelleputte, “This partnership with Vision Group is one of several innovations that MTN is continuously working on to facilitate the increasingly digital lifestyles of our customers. At MTN Uganda, we believe that everyone deserves the benefits of a modern connected life. We are here to facilitate the realization of that belief.”

The MTN Chief Executive Officer Wim Vanhelleputte commended Vision Group for taking this direction, noting that embracing digital is inevitable to companies in this era.

MTN Uganda and New Vision sealed a partnership to enable MTN Mobile Money  payments for subscribers to access eVision – UG TECH HUB
Robert Kabushenga discussing with MTN CEO Wim Vanhelleputte during the virtual signing ceremony.

This exciting partnership grants readers access to eVision through MTN MoMo at highly subsidized rates effective today 1st September 2020. The subscription fees will come bundled with data to enable customers enjoy a seamless service. This implies that subscribing customers will read the bouquet of ePapers without the additional costs that would otherwise have been incurred with data/MBs.

Unlike the Ugx. 2,000 hardcopy cover price (physical newspaper) and the previous e-paper access, where readers had a data challenge, MTN customers who pay for e-paper using mobile money will not incur any data costs to download the content, apart from the sh1,000 for the paper. Additionally, the sh1,000 will be paid via Momo Pay at no extra charges.

To pay for e-Vision, one is required to visit the New Vision online portal, that is accessible anywhere, anytime across devices including mobile phones, tablet and desktops, click SUBSCRIBE and then choose whether they prefer daily weekly or monthly subscription. An option of MTN MoMo Pay then pops up and one approves payment by entering a PIN code.

The telecom shared about the partnership on social and on their website:

Go digital and catch your favorite newspaper on the go, with the MTN and Vision Group e-Paper new arrangement. 🗞📱🤗

Watch here for more of what was discussed: