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#datafree Internet and app access is coming to South Africa

August 21, 2019 • Mobile and Telecoms, Southern Africa, Top Stories

#datafree Internet and app access is coming to South Africa

By zero-rating their digital touchpoints, MTN hopes to expand their reach, increase engagement and lower communication costs.

biNu, the company responsible for the Moya Messenger app, announced on Wednesday, 21 August 2019, that it’s partnering up with MTN South Africa in a bid to enable mobile subscribers in the country to access certain websites and apps at no charge to mobile data.

So, instead of subscribers using their mobile data to visit and interact with sites or apps, participating digital content and application owners will fit the bill. This, according to biNu, is with thanks to their reverse billing model.

Stephen Newton, CEO of biNu, says, “Our reverse billing approach is both the least and the most disruptive for MNOs, organisations and their brands and consumers. Once MNOs understand our reverse billing model they like it because we present an alternative additional revenue source. Companies and brands are only asked to shift allocated marketing/customer acquisition and or communication spend and include #datafree in their plans.”

By zero-rating their digital touchpoints, MTN hopes to expand their reach, increase engagement and lower communication costs. And since launching its reverse billing service in August 2018, the network provider says it has seen major take-up from organisations looking to increase their online engagement with consumers – in both the public and private sectors. 

Dr Christian Wirtz, Executive Enterprise Operations and Solutions at MTN, says, “Reverse billing is now a proven model in South Africa. Once banks and universities decided to carry the data costs for their customers, early adopters saw a large increase in consumers using their online portals or banking services”.

“We offer a unique solution that moves the cost of mobile data from consumers to the owners of the content. I am delighted that MTN will now be offering our platform to its enterprise customers who want to increase their digital interactions with people living and working in South Africa,” adds Newton. 

The MTN and biNu partnership will cover the South African market initially but the likelihood it will be expanded to other countries in the future looks promising.

Edited by Jenna Cook

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