18 October 2019
Vodacom has offered free internet essentials to more than 25 million mobile phone users in South Africa.
The service is powered by Upstream’s Zero-D connectivity platform and one of the country’s largest telecom operators has seen a massive uptake with 55% of its phone subscriber base already engaging with the portal branded Vodacom Flex.
Users are currently averaging sessions of nearly six minutes as they use the free digital content available in the platform.
Now Vodacom subscribers that have run out of data are automatically redirected to the Zero-D portal, where they can access essential internet services.
These include web search, local and international news as well as weather reports.
Furthermore, the portal gives subscribers the option of digitally topping up their service for increased airtime or data.
“Millions of people cannot do topping up when they run out of credit. Vodacom has taken a leading step to address that shortfall in South Africa with its Vodacom Flex service,” said Kostas Kastanis, head of Zero-D at Upstream.
“There is a lot of talk about “crossing the digital divide” in emerging markets, but together Vodacom and Upstream are actually doing it. Millions of people in South Africa now have the ability to remain connected to digital information which they would not have had otherwise.”
Zero-D, an ad-funded free mobile internet platform, gives users the fallback option of a zero-rated web environment whenever they have used up their credit.