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‘Know-how’ reduces the cost of roaming when abroad

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With the end of year holiday season fast approaching, more and more South Africans travel abroad, while business tourists continue their voyage overseas for commercial purposes. Inevitably, the topic of roaming rates and potential bill shock when travelers return home will likely become a bone of contention. For MTN, discussing roaming rates is not simply a promotional opportunity for holidays or international festivities, but rather an ongoing education drive to empower consumers with the ’know-how’ of curbing the cost of communicating when abroad.

Serame Taukobong, Chief Marketing Officer at MTN SA (image: MTN)

“Roaming internationally can be seen as somewhat daunting – choosing a roaming operator, the best form of communication to use and of course, managing what could be an overwhelming phone bill,” says Serame Taukobong, Chief Marketing Officer at MTN SA. “However, with adequate information and education coupled with knowing what is on offer from your operator, the cost of being connected when out of the country shouldn’t be as overwhelming as people think it is.”

Taukobong emphasies that knowing your call and data rates and choosing the best form of communication that works for you is essential. Contrary to belief, Instant Messaging services are not free especially when you leave the confines of your country’s border and in some instances it may in fact be more cost effective to send an SMS. This is the type of information, that consumers should be arming themselves with – by asking their operator – prior to departure.

MTN reaffirmed its customer centric roaming offering when it recently introduced Euro-Saver rates applicable when roaming on any operator in seven Euro-Saver countries. Considering that approximately 80% of calls made while roaming are calls back home, Taukobong notes that having a cost-effective international call rate was key for MTN customers. MTN significantly reduced the cost of international roaming rates by 87%* as part of the operator’s commitment to providing affordable and convenient roaming options in Europe and SADC operators. Thanks to MTN’s large footprint across Africa, countries such as Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Kenya and the DRC that were deemed expensive to roam in, moved from ‘exclusion zones’ to MTN’s Africa zone, where customers can enjoy value-added roaming services.

MTN rates in the SEA region remain the most competitive where receiving of calls is free and data costs R0.25 per 25KB. MTN has a strong positioning with respect to roaming on the continent due to its footprint in Africa, and this is fast expanding into its European counterparts. Furthermore, MTN customers in Africa are also able to recharge their local number by purchasing a foreign operator’s recharge voucher – offering more convenience.

With the reduction of rates, MTN now has a stronger value proposition to its African customers. MTN PayAsYouGo, TopUP subscribers will enjoy reduced call rates while Contract customers will benefit from both call and data rates.

“With the increased number of business tourists and holiday makers travelling abroad, MTN has worked tirelessly with Europe and SADC operators to provide affordable and convenient roaming options throughout these regions,” adds Taukobong. “We are pleased to be able to offer rates that curb the high costs of communicating abroad therefore alleviating customer worries. MTN continues to empower and educate customers about data roaming so that not only do our customers have the confidence to roam freely, but they have more choice than ever that meets their communication needs 24/7 365 days.”

To to prevent frustration and digging deep into pockets upon returning home, MTN advises its customers to use the below roaming tips:

Roaming tips:

To activate MTN Roaming, go to your nearest MTN store, and enjoy up to 87% discounts while roaming in Europe and Africa. MTN PayAsYouGo and MTN TopUp customers can automatically use this service.

Love to SMS? Try out MTN SMS Roaming by dialling *111*14# to activate.

Activate MTN iMail to manage your voicemail from anywhere around the world. Visit to register.

Don’t empty your pockets by calling your voicemail; dial *111*100# to get an MTN VoiceMail CallBack.

Get familiar with international roaming rates. Go to to check out the current MTN Roaming rates.

Beware of background data activity, such as automatic updates on your cellphone and laptop. This can be very expensive. Smartphones in particular use a lot of data. Also note that all South African bundles do not apply in the country you will be visiting.

“MTN has always placed heavy focus on understanding its customers’ needs and we continually review our prices and packages to meet those needs,” he concludes.

*Roaming rates vary, based on the country you are in while roaming. Discounts vary across voice, SMS and Internet usage. Reduced rates apply to specific countries in Africa and Europe, when roaming in those countries. See for full Terms and Conditions that apply.

Staff writer


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