MTN South Africa reduces prices by 80% for low income Internet users


MTN South Africa on 30 November 2017, dropped its out-of-bundle (OOB) data pricing by up to 80% while also further reducing the cost of data, for almost 5 million economically marginalised customers, to just 29c per megabyte (MB).

The first of the new pricing segments will see customers who use equal to or less than 5MB of OOB data per month paying just 29c per MB for that OOB data.

“We see that lower income data users tend use data for simple messaging, using over-the-top platforms such as WhatsApp and that usage is often below 5MB a month. The digital divide affects poor South Africans the most and we want to make it cheaper for this economically marginalised section of our nation to communicate, which is why we’re implementing the 29c per MB rate for customers using 5MB or less of OOB data per month,” said Godfrey Motsa, MTN South Africa Chief Executive Officer.

The 29c pricing will be offered to all customers that have consistently used equal to or less than 5MB of OOB data for three consecutive months. Should these customers choose to use more than 5MB of OOB data in a month, they will be charged 60c per MB for the remainder of the month.

In addition to the 29c pricing all other MTN customers will, from tomorrow (1 December), be eligible for pricing of 60c per MB for OOB data. All customers will be invited to opt-in to a flat rate of 60c per MB for OOB data and the opt-in will be exercised by using the USSD code *130*1#

Some customers who have not yet moved off older packages will see a change in OOB pricing from ZAR2 per MB to 60c, as soon as they opt-in for the new rates.

“We’ve made it ultra-simple for our customers to opt-in for this reduced OOB pricing as it is a once-off opt-in and then you will never be charged more than 60c per MB for any OOB data you may choose to use,” said Motsa.

“This change is simple, easy and transparent because by opting-in we can then be sure that all our customers have consented to the new 60c per OOB MB pricing,” he said.

MTN today also announced that its hugely popular 1GB for ZAR50 promotion will return for December 2017 and will be exclusively available off the MyMTN app.

Motsa said the revised OOB data pricing and the 1GB promotion reflect MTN’s commitment to reducing the cost of accessing the internet.

“We have made these data pricing reductions despite the spectrum crunch that continues to hamper our industry but there is absolutely no doubt that the release of spectrum will allow us to continue dropping the price of data,” said Motsa.

“We call on Minister Siyabonga Cwele of the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services to release the much-needed spectrum that will boost the industry’s capacity and allow MTN to further drive down the cost of communication, especially for the rural poor,” he said.


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Bontle Moeng is the Founder and Managing Director of BizNis Africa. Moeng has spent 16 years working in the digital and online media industry across Africa. She applied her trade at True Love magazine prior to discovering her passion for Investment news in key sectors across Africa. Moeng previously worked for ITWeb, Starfish Mobile Technologies, ITNewsAfrica, AVATAR Agency, eNitiate, Global Interface Consulting and Havas Johannesburg. Her primary focus is to provide solid and valuable content on investment opportunities for the ICT, Energy and Mining sectors across Africa. In addition, the online news publication assists global companies to expand their presence in Africa. Email:

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