In a move that it says will further open the world of mobile internet connectivity to more South Africans, MTN has announced the arrival of Africa’s first “smart feature phone”, the new MTN Smart S.
On sale for R249, it is powered by the KaiOS operating system, which allows users of basic phones to access popular apps like WhatsApp, Facebook, YouTube and Google Assistant. MTN has bundled Smart S with a monthly allocation of 100 MB of data valid for 30 days, for the first six months, along with 1GB of WhatsApp bundles, valid for 20 days, for the first six months.
“We are living in a country where affordability of smart devices is one of the biggest barriers to internet access,” says Jacqui O’Sullivan, Executive: Corporate Affairs, MTN South Africa. “By introducing this cutting-edge device at such an affordable price, MTN will help its customers, particularly students, small businesses and others that may have avoided traditional smart phones due to the cost, to become part of the information society at an accessible price.
“The device comes at a right time as we recently launched MTN Chat recharging channel, which puts customers in charge by allowing them to conveniently top up airtime and data bundles on the popular instant messaging platform, WhatsApp.”
She said that MTN already subsidises handsets in South Africa by over R1 billion per year, to make smart phones cheaper for customers, but that there is a market for an even more affordable option for mobile internet access.
“The introduction of the Smart S, coupled with the attractive bundles we have on offer, will advance our ambition to further democratise the internet, helping to provide access to all South Africans.”
MTN Smart S is available at selected MTN retail stores and major retail partners.