Travel far but stay close with affordable roaming rates from MTN
Prepaid and TopUp Contract
1. Check if you have Roaming service activated via MyMTN App or *135#
2. Check if there is a Prepaid Roaming partner in the country you are visiting via https://www.mtn.co.za/Pages/InternationalRoaming.aspx .
3. Check your airtime balance and ensure you have sufficient airtime before leaving
1.Check if you have Roaming service activated at a MTN store or contact the call centre via 135. If not activated, you will need to apply for the Roaming service
2.Check if there is a Roaming partner in the country you are visiting via https://www.mtn.co.za/Pages/InternationalRoaming.aspx
3.Check if your Contract Usage Limit will sufficient for roaming usage via *136# or MyMTN App. Alternatively, you can recharge with Airtime
What you need to know about International Roaming
Staying close when you’ve travelled far is that much easier because we’ve partnered with over 600 networks in 170 countries. This service will ensure that you are always reachable even if you are miles away from home.
Below is the International Roaming Guide with all the information you need while roaming.
How does International Roaming work?
Two mobile network operators in different countries enter into a roaming agreement contract which makes them roaming partners. This partnership will enable subscribers on both networks to enjoy using the voice, SMS and data services when travelling.
Where can I use MTN’s roaming services?
MTN South Africa has roaming agreements with over 600 mobile network operators in 170 countries across the globe.
How do I call someone on a cellphone in South Africa from abroad?
- Dial (+) or (00)
- Followed by the SA code (27)
- Followed by the cellphone number, minus the first 0 (e.g., +27 83 123 1234)
What services will be available while I am roaming?
The following services will be available to all MTN subscribers:
- Voice – make and receive calls
- SMS Roaming – send and receive
- Internet/Data services – web browsing, send/receive emails etc
How do I activate Roaming?
Prepaid and TopUp contract subscribers will have the roaming service activated by default. Post-paid subscribers will have to apply for the roaming service to be activated via the MTN Service Provider, and might be required to pay a security deposit of R2000.
How to set-up SMS Only Roaming?
SMS Only Roaming is available to all MTN subscribers. Once the SMS Only roaming service is activated, subscribers will not be able to make or receive calls and data will not work either. To activate the SMS Roaming service dial *135# and follow prompts or use the MyMTN App (Prepaid/TopUp only).
What happens if SMS Only Roaming is activated, and I am back in South Africa?
Voice and data will be blocked, subscribers will not be able to use these services. Customers would need deactivate the SMS only Roaming service by dialling *135# when they are back in the country.
How do I SMS someone in South Africa from abroad?
Type your message as normal. On the “to” field enter + or 00 followed by the South African country code 27 and the mobile number e.g. +27 83 123 1234 and press send.
How does International Data Roaming work?
Gives you the access to the Internet while abroad. You can go online and send emails using your mobile phone, a laptop or another internet-enabled device. It’s the same service you have at home, but with international roaming costs.
Data roaming can quickly exceed 10MB as downloading presentations, pictures, music and videos is typically very data-intensive. Just 10MB could cost between R10 and R5 000 depending on the country you’re roaming in. If you have a smartphone (or any other device which uses data) and don’t intend using data while roaming, you should disable all data-related activity before leaving South Africa.
When connected, you’ll be charged for the data you send and receive in increments that may vary per mobile operator. Surfing the internet on your mobile can amount to a few 100KB per day, but can require several MB if rich multimedia content is accessed.
Smartphones typically have many apps running in the background e.g., a weather app, that continuously or periodically use a data connection. If you use a tablet or laptop, make sure you’re aware of all background download activity, e.g., Windows updates, anti-virus updates or any other app downloads.
How do I know how much I spent on data roaming?
MTN has set up by default data usage notifications to help you manage your data usage while abroad. You are alerted of your data usage in increments of R500, but you can change this to any amount of your choice by dialling *135# and follow the prompts.
How do I enable data roaming on an Android handset?
Generally, Data roaming can be activated under Settings > Mobile Network > Data Roaming, but this could vary based on make and model of the handset you are using.
Can the Data bundle I bought in South Africa be used when I’m roaming?
No, the Data, Voice and SMS bundles bought are for local usage only.
Only Airtime or Contract Usage Limits can be used for international data due to specific data rates in the roaming destination.
Can the Contract inclusive/allocated value be used when I’m roaming?
Unfortunately not, the contract inclusive value is for local usage only.
You will need to load Airtime or use your Contract Usage Limit.
How do set-up my Contract Usage Limits?
1. You need to ensure you have an Account Holder Usage Limit set at a MTN store or contract the Call centre via 135
2. Once you have Account Holder Usage Limit set, you can then manage your Subscriber Usage limit via MyMTN App or *136*1*7852#
How do I recharge with Airtime while I’m abroad?
All customer types:
- Use the www.mtn.co.za, recharge but you’ll need a Credit/Debit card (Make sure you notify your bank before travelling out of SA boarders, to ensure your Credit/Debit card works)
- MyMTN App, ensure you have the App downloaded from your App store (Use the MyMTN App in Wi-Fi enabled areas)
- Online Banking i.e. website or Banking App (Make sure you notify your bank before travelling out of SA boarders)
What is LTE Roaming?
- It is a Wireless Broadband technology that enables Data roaming with faster speeds which is high than 3G. Creating a seamless experience when streaming music and video, uploading, downloading and web-surfing
- List of our roaming partners with LTE roaming is available at https://www.mtn.co.za/Pages/InternationalRoaming.aspx
- If you have an LTE handset and the country you are visiting is not on the list, please ensure you change network setting on your handset to 3G or 2G.
Will my voicemail work when I am roaming?
Yes, your voicemail will work when you are roaming. Before you leave South Africa you can divert all calls to go to voicemail. This means that whenever someone calls you the call will not leave South Africa to go to the country you are in - it will go straight to voicemail. That way you don't have to pay for an incoming call while roaming.
How do I check my Voicemails when abroad?
Simply dial +2783 1000 000 to listen to your Voicemail and you will pay for an outgoing call at International voice rates.
How do I manually change networks when I am abroad?
Go to your phone’s Settings menu, and change the Network Selection mode. Please note that the process of manually selecting a network varies between phones and devices.
How much does it cost to make a call when I am roaming?
Call charges for your roaming use will be made up as follows:
The actual basic cost of the call, as determined by the roaming partner’s tariff, and the call’s duration and the type of call you are making, including taxes
You can visit https://www.mtn.co.za/Pages/InternationalRoaming.aspx to check rates applicable to calls, text messages and data in different countries. Or you can dial *135# Or MyMTN App to check the rates
If you are a contract customer, all relevant roaming charges will be invoiced and displayed in your bill.
Will I be charged for sending and receiving SMS when I am roaming?
Yes, you will be charged for sending text messages when you are roaming. Roaming charges are dependent on the roaming partner’s network.
Receiving SMS is FREE while roaming.
What can I do if I cannot make calls or send SMS while roaming?
If for any reason, you are unable to make calls or send SMS while roaming, do the following simple checks:
- Check that you are connected to a network that MTN supports in the country you are visiting via https://www.mtn.co.za/Pages/InternationalRoaming.aspx or MyMTN App
- Check that you have sufficient airtime to make a call or send SMS.
- Check the network signal strength on your phone to be sure you have adequate network signal in the location you are in.
- Switch your device on and off, select a preferred network provider and try making a call or sending the SMS again.
How do I receive my bills when I am roaming?
The network on which you are roaming will send your roaming charges to your home network. This means that your roaming charges will be added to your bill once MTN South Africa gets the bill from the network that you are roaming on.
However, depending on the date that MTN South Africa receives your roaming charges, these charges may be reflected in your current or following month’s bill.
How do I check my balance when abroad?
Dial *136# to check Airtime balance and follow prompts
When I use the MyMTN App will I incur any Data roaming charges?
You will be charged, and the rates will depend on the country visited, however we encourage you to use your MyMTN App in a Wi-Fi enabled area to avoid this cost.
If I need help with the roaming service who do I call?
For any support you can call +27 83 135.