Opera, the company that maintains the Opera and Opera Mini web browsers has partnered with MTN South Africa to provide South African users with 3GB each of free data per month while they are using Opera internet browsers.
The offer is effective immediately with no sign-up required by users, only that they browse the internet using Opera browsers and be using MTN as their operator.
The company says that in July 2022 alone, Opera and MTN delivered a total of 17.7 petabytes (1 petabyte is 1,024 terabytes) of free data to 5.9 million users in South Africa.
Opera says that this initiative is in part to provide more free data and internet access to more people, working toward closing the digital divide.
“We intrinsically agree with this view and believe that high-speed broadband should be readily and easily accessible to all South Africans – especially low-income earners and those on the unemployment line that need it most,” says Sarah Utermark, Director of Brand and Global Partnerships at Opera South Africa.
“Data has become the lifeblood of how we stay connected, transact, work and relax, and we believe 3GB of data per month will be of tremendous help to South Africans who are finding it difficult to manage all of their bills,” she says.
“MTN Business is proud to partner with Opera in its endeavours to connect more South Africans to the internet, as it aligns strongly with our belief that everyone deserves the benefits of modern connected life. By increasing access to the internet we ensure that our people are active participants in the digital era,” concludes Megan Vercuil, EBU Head of Mobility at MTN South Africa.
How it Works and Restrictions
MTN customers wanting to make use of this offer only need to have the Opera for Android or Opera Mini browser installed on their phones – or they can simply download one from the appropriate app store. If they are connected to the MTN network anywhere in South Africa, they will be able to browse for free, with 100MB of data allocated per day.
With 3GB of data per month, users are able to use Opera Browser’s unique features to visit news sites, stay on top of social media, check browser-based emails or simply surf the web.
The only restriction is on video content and file downloads, which are not covered by the free data and will attract normal data charges.
“Free browsing for Africa”
This is not the first time Opera has offered free browsing, the company claims.
Since 2020, Opera says it has partnered with up to 10 leading carriers in South Africa and other Sub-Saharan African countries to bring as many people online as it could.
Every month, more than 1.8 million MTN customers use Opera mobile browsers. Since the free data effort started in August 2021, those using Opera and MTN in South Africa have saved 360 million MBs of data (around 350 terabytes) – the equivalent of $1.8-million based on the current data costs of $5.08 per GB.
Together with telco partners, Opera says it has brought nearly 40 million people online across Sub-Saharan African countries.
The Opera browsers have a significant usage across Africa, with similar free data offers to Opera users available on 98% of Nigeria’s cellular networks (Airtel, Globacom and MTN), and close to 100% of Kenya’s networks (Airtel, Safaricom).