What is USSD?
Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) is a technology that allows users to access various services through the use of short codes. It usually consists of number that start with * and end with #. PayAsYouGo customers often use USSD codes to load airtime (*141*VoucherPIN#), check balances (*141#) and send CallBacks (*121*CellphoneNumber#).
How to use USSD
Dial the advertised code of the USSD service you want to access, for example *123#, and then press the call button.
The application will respond with a menu:
1. Phone Setup
2. MTN Play
3. MTN Services
To respond to the menu item or number of the information you want to receive, press ‘OK’ or ‘Reply’. Enter the number of the menu item you want and press ‘OK’, ‘Reply’ or the green call button to receive the required information.
You can then browse the menu until you receive the desired information by performing the instruction as mentioned above.
What it costs
USSD sessions are charged at 20c (incl. VAT) per 20 seconds.
MTN USSD services
Missed Call Notification
This allows you to enable ‘Missed Call Notification’, a service that sends SMS notifications
indicating who phoned you without leaving a voicemail while you were not connected
to the network.
International Roaming and Calling Services
Allows the checking of international roaming and international calling rates. As
well as product information and the ability to activate and deactivate services.
MTN Parental Control
This allows you to enable, view, edit and change MTN Parental Control settings.
It is a filtering tool for all MTN customers to restrict the type of content that
minors/children in their care are able to access through their mobile devices while
browsing the internet.
This allows for the registration and for registered customers to play any of the South Africa National Lottery games such as Lotto, LottoPlus and PowerBall (Note: SportStake can only be played on web or mobi at www.mtnlotto.co.za).
Cost :R0.20 per 20 seconds
Normal data rates also apply
This is a location based service that helps you find useful points of interest (POI) located closest to you using your phone or computer, such as ATMs, restaurants, movie theatres, healthcare facilities, accommodation retail outlets and petrol stations.
Cost :R0.20 per 20 second session Please note that some requests are charged at R1.
Mobile Money is a basic bank account service that allows you to Send and Receive money; buy prepaid airtime and electricity using any cellphone on any network. You can deposit, withdraw and pay for groceries using Mobile Money at any till point across all PnP and Boxer stores.
Cost :Opening the account is free for all customers with a valid SA ID number. Users must be 16 years or older and have an active mobile number.
This allows you to keep track of your loved ones at any time. The service lets you locate up to 10 people day or night via SMS, USSD or the internet, no matter what cellphone they are using.
Cost :Charged at a monthly subscription fee of R12.49
This allows you to automatically send a request to someone asking him or her to call you back by dialling *121*(cellphone number) # from your phone.
Phone set-up and MTN services
This allows you to set up your phone and also has a list of MTN services provided by MTN Play.
This allows for the automatic settings for MMS, WAP, video streaming etc. to be sent to your mobile phone.
This is a digital service which provides you with lifestyle-based content that includes exciting categories such as Music, Sports, Games, News and Info, Entertainment, Dating, Love, Religion, Naughty, My Phone as well as various Streaming Services.
Cost :Visit www.mtnplay.co.za for pricing
This provides access to the main PayAsYouGo and TopUp services.
Also known as Ring-back tones, this is a service that allows for customers, when activated, to play their favourite song, to which callers can listen instead of the normal network ring tone.
Cost :Subscription is R5 for three months
Also known as ‘‘voetstoots’, meaning that services on this menu are purely for testing purposes, they may be here today and gone tomorrow! They may have defects, so use these services at your own risk.
Cost :Free service
By providing children from underprivileged areas with bicycles as a means of getting to school, we empower them to make changes not only in their lives but also in the communities they are part of. Make your donation by dialling the USSD.
Cost :Donation based
Visit www.qhubeka.org for more information and details how make a difference
MTN Zone discounts
This allows MTN Zone customers to view their discount when customers have their cellbroadcast set up. To set up cell broadcast, customers must dial 173
MTN Zone discounts
This allows MTN Zone customers to check their discount rates at the time.
This allows for contract, TopUp and PayAsYouGo customers to check their daily and monthly airtime balances including remaining minutes and SMS messages on airtime balance, SMS bundles and Internet bundles.
This is a USSD code for PayAsYouGo and TopUp customers to recharge their airtime accounts.
MTN self-service menu
This provides another route for the commonly used MTN services, of which some are free and others charged for.
This service provides detailed airtime, SMS and data balances to PayAsYouGo and TopUp customers.
This service code enables subscribers to purchase Airtime, SMS, Internet Bundles and BlackBerry Services from their airtime wallet.
Cost :As per the respective bundle prices
As an MTN contract, AnyTime TopUp, OffPeak TopUp or PayAsYouGo customer, you can purchase or transfer airtime and SMS and Internet bundles for any MTN PayAsYouGo, My-Choice TopUp, AnyTime TopUp or OffPeak TopUp customer.
Price Plan Migration and Best Price Plan Advisor
This allows prepaid customers to migrate between price plans such as MTN Zone, One Rate, Call Per Second and One4All.
Cost :This allows prepaid customers to migrate between price plans such as MTN Zone, One Rate, Call Per Second and One4All.
This allows you to cancel recurring bundles if purchased or to activate/deactivate uncapped bundles.
Cost :Charged as per the respective bundle price
MTN 1-4-1 Loyalty
This menu allows all customers to register for the MTN 1-4-1 Loyalty programme. Once registered, a customer can claim, spend and check points.
For every R1 you spend on your MTN cellphone, you get 1 point. And for every day your line is active on the MTN network, you get another point.
Cost :No price provided
MTN Eazi Recharge
This allows customers to buy MTN PayAsYouGo airtime as well as MTN SMS and Internet bundles whenever and wherever they need it using their bank debit card or credit card.
Cost :The only charge involved is the customer’s bank charge and is bank dependent
MTN Directory Enquiries
This allows you to access a convenient directory enquiry service that sends any MTN subscriber listed numbers, be it a person or a business. You can also request Call Connect, and the operator will connect you directly to your requested number.
Cost :For successful results, the customer will be charged R2 per request
How does USSD work?
USSD allows MTN and WASPs (also known as 3rd party partners, content and application
providers) to offer services to customers, which includes menu-type applications
such as information requests, portal-type requests or banking applications.
Most applications will be billed to your account, and you will be informed if the
application is billed to the WASP’s account.
You will be billed when you
- initiate a USSD session or
- directly request a forward billed number.
Some menus are premium rated, and the rate will be included in the menu.
The WASP provider will be billed when you
- select a menu option that is zero rated for you; the costs from when you select
that option will be billed to the WASP owning the menu string option.
What are the USSD tariffs?
|USSD session rate (forward billed to the customer)|| R0.18 (excl. VAT) per 20 seconds
i.e. R0.20 (incl. VAT) per 20 seconds
- Standard rated USSD session durations will be rounded up and calculated in 20 second
- Premium rated USSD sessions will be rounded and calculated in 60 second intervals.
- USSD session will always be charged for, regardless of whether content was downloaded
or not, except for free or zero rated USSD strings.
- For customers, USSD usage charges will be deductible from their value bundles, but
NOT from their minute bundles.
- Should customers have insufficient airtime in their airtime wallet, they will receive
a notification informing of the inadequate balance to process the menu.
Is there a time limit for USSD sessions?
- There is a time limit applicable to USSD sessions as well as time-outs if a session
is inactive for 30 seconds. That means you have to respond to a menu and make your
choice within 30 seconds after pressing the call button or when pressing ‘OK’ or
Can I use USSD while roaming?
- MTN Roaming customers will not always be able to use the USSD service as some GSM
networks do not support USSD as a bearer. It is therefore advisable to check the
country you intend visiting to see whether the MTN partner network operator supports
Will USSD work on a payphone?
- Community payphones will not be able to use the USSD service.
Can USSD work on another network?
- USSD is network dependent; therefore services offered on the MTN network cannot
be accessed by Vodacom or Cell C subscribers.