MTN has announced that it will reward customers who download the COVID-19 Alert SA application with 1GB of free data valid for one hour.
“In an effort to rally South Africans to download and use the COVID-19 Alert app, MTN has not only zero-rated its use but will reward customers with 1GB of free data for an hour after download as a reward for their efforts in fighting the pandemic,” the company said in a statement.
The COVID-19 Alert SA was designed by Discovery for the National Department of Health and uses Bluetooth contact tracing technology to notify you if you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
This technology preserves app user privacy and anonymity, and your information is not shared with the government or other users.
“One of the critical aspects of combatting COVID-19 is the ability to detect positive cases early and to isolate as many contacts as possible,” said MTN executive for corporate affairs Jacqui O’Sullivan.
“The COVID Alert SA app gives every smartphone user in South Africa the chance to understand their exposure to the virus, so that we can all protect our families and our communities, and especially those people who are most at risk of severe disease.”
She said that for Bluetooth contact tracing to be effective, at least 10-15% of the population must download and use the app in a given area. At 60% uptake, suppression of the virus can be achieved.
“This is why we have taken the steps to zero-rate and even reward our customers who have downloaded the app,” O’Sullivan said.
The COVID-19 Alert SA app can be downloaded from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
MTN has also zero-rated important online resources and information during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The mobile operator has so far zero-rated more than 900 individual URLs that South Africans can access without using mobile data.
“Our efforts have been aligned with that of government to ensure that students are able to access online educational resources to continue their studies during this difficult time,” O’Sullivan said.
“This is an extraordinarily difficult time for all South Africans and MTN remains committed to ensuring that we keep as many South Africans as possible connected, in touch and able to enjoy a world of digital opportunity, despite the complex times we are all currently facing.”