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Text messages (SMS)


Text messaging (SMS)


Anyone on the MTN network can send a text message or SMS. You don’t need to sign up for this. Simply access the message section on your phone menu and start texting

Register with MyMTN and get FREE SMS messages per day on the MTN website

Types of SMS messages

Predictive text

Predictive text is when your phone attempts to predict the word that you are trying to type. This function should help speed up your typing. If you would like to change this setting, consult the user manual of your cellphone.

Long messages

Each SMS can accommodate a maximum of 160 characters per SMS, However, most phones will let you exceed the 160-charcater limit. The message is then divided into several messages and is either delivered as one long message, or as a series of separated messages. You are charged for each set of 160 characters (one SMS) that is sent.

Enhanced message service

An enhanced message is when you add sounds or animations to an SMS. This is not the same as an MMS as the service is accessed through your SMS function. Only some cellphones support this function.

How to use

How does SMS work?

  • All MTN numbers come with SMS functionality. If you are having problems, you need to check whether the proper SMS service centre number has been loaded onto your cellphone; this information can be found under the message settings on your phone. Consult your cellphone manual if you are having trouble finding the number.
  • One SMS is made up of 160 characters. If you exceed this limit, the SMS will be extended into two or more SMSs. You are charged for each SMS you send, according to the MTN package that you are on.
  • Cellphone chat applications

  • Some cellphones support chat applications, either as part of the cellphone or as an application that needs to be downloaded. Each chat application has specific terms and conditions. Consult the relevant websites for more information.
  • MTN SMS contact numbers (For Queries)

  • Contract: 808
    PayAsYouGo: 173


Call Per Second

Call Per Second Peak offers a saving of up to 17% on the per minute rate of a Pay as you Go peak time call. So if you make most of your calls between 8am and 5pm, you will be able to talk longer with Call Per Second Peak.

Messaging Rates Peak Standard Off-Peak
Local SMS R 0.80 R 0.80 R 0.35
International SMS R 1.60 R 1.60 R 1.60

* All prices include VAT.
** Off-Peak for MTN to MTN Calls and Local SMS starts at 19h00 on weekdays


Messaging Rates Peak Standard Off-Peak
Local SMS R 0.75 R 0.75 R 0.75
Local MMS R 0.90 R 0.90 R 0.90
International SMS R 1.60 R 1.60 R 1.60
International MMS R 2.50 R 2.50 R 2.50
 All prices include VAT.All local voice calls and local SMSs are subject to variable MTN Zone discounts.

MTN Muziq

Messaging Rates Peak Standard Off-Peak
Local SMS R 0.75 R 0.75 R 0.75
International SMS R 1.60 R 1.60 R 1.60


MTN One Rate

All Day SMS Rate R 0.50  
All Day MMS Rate R 0.90  
All Day International SMS R1.60  
All Day International MMS R2.50  

All above rates include VAT.
*All local calls are charged per second from the first second. Per minute rates are an indication of what a full 60 second call will cost.

All prices include VAT.All local voice calls and local SMSs are subject to variable MTN Zone discounts.
Terms and Conditions

MTN AnyTime Packages

Contract Packages Monthly Subscription / Airtime Value (incl.VAT) Inclusive SMSs In-Bundle Rate (incl.VAT) Out of Bundle Rate (incl.VAT) Estimated Inclusive Minutes *
MTN AnyTime 50 R 50.00 25 R 2.30 R 2.85 21
MTN AnyTime 100 R 100.00 25 R 2.30 R 2.85 43
MTN AnyTime 200 R 200.00 25 R 2.30 R 2.85 86
MTN AnyTime 350 R 350.00 50 R 1.95 R 2.35 179
MTN AnyTime 500 R 500.00 50 R 1.95 R 2.35 256
MTN AnyTime 750 R 750.00 100 R 1.60 R 1.75 468
MTN AnyTime 1200 R 1,200.00 100 R 1.60 R 1.75 750
MTN AnyTime 1500 R 1,500.00 200 R 1.50 R 1.50 1,000

MTN Off Peak Packages

Contract Packages Monthly subscription / Airtime Value Inclusive SMSs Off Peak Rate Peak Rate Estimated inclusive minutes*
MTN Off Peak 50 R 50.00 25 R0.95 R2.50 53
MTN Off Peak 100 R 100.00 25 R0.95 R2.50 105
MTN Off Peak 200 R 200.00 25 R0.95 R2.50 210

SMS Bundles

Choose the bundle that suits your needs best and see how much you can save!

Bundle Bundle SMS Bundle Costs Out of Bundle Costs
SMS 15 15 R5.00 Base Price Plan
SMS 30 30 R10.00 Base Price Plan
SMS 50 50 R17.00 Base Price Plan
SMS 100 100 R30.00 44c
SMS 200 200 R50.00 30c
SMS 300 300 R75.00 30c
SMS 500 500 R114.00 23c

Q Are SMS and MMS available on the 3G network?

A Yes.

Q  What are the MTN USSD menu codes for SMS bundles?

A  *141*7*BundleSize#—SMS bundle purchase *141*7*0#—SMS bundle cancellation

Q  I still want reduced SMS rates, but MTN has taken away SMS-a-lot. What can I do?

A  MTN now offers even lower SMS rates than before. On the PayBack price plan you get your SMSs from as low as 40c peak and off-peak, as well as a free SMS every day if you make an MTN-to-MTN call.

Q  How do I check how many SMSs I have left in my account?

A  Dial 555 and press 2 for ‘balance enquiries’. The system will automatically play your airtime and SMS balance to you.

Q  What is the charge for a delivery receipt on all of the price plans?

A  A delivery receipt costs the same as sending an SMS.

Q On PayBack do SMSs to other networks also cost less?

A  Yes, but international SMSs are still charged at R1.60.

Q  How and when do I get PayBack SMSs?

A  With regards to SMSing, we total the amount in real time, so your SMS rates drop day by day, depending on how many you have sent.

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