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FREI IN THE NEWS

23 March 2021 | By Dhivana Rajgopaul (original article here)

DURBAN — South African retailer, the Shoprite Group, will launch its own mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), called k’nect mobile next month.

The mobile network has partnered with digital enabler FREI One Digital, and piggybacks off the mobile network infrastructure of Cell C, which has a roaming partnership with MTN.

k’nect mobile offers flat call and data rates, and no complicated tiers. The network’s airtime, data bundles and rewards only expire after 60 days unlike the usual 30-day expiry period.

Shoprite, Checkers and Usave customers will be rewarded with free data and airtime. Data access is a necessity and by launching a mobile network, Shoprite, Checkers and Usave will truly become one-stop-shops.

Users of Xtra Savings and the Money Market Account benefit from signing up to the mobile network. Other rewards include early access to Computicket events and tickets, and 100MB free for three months (six months for Xtra Savings members) which is subject to in-store Rica activation.

Users of the k’nect mobile SIM card will also benefit from zero-rated data on selected Shoprite and Checkers websites and apps.

The zero-rated data move will help the retailer streamline communication and drastically reduce its internal data costs. The Shoprite Group’s employees are now able to receive communications directly on the group’s internal app.

Here’s a look at k’nect mobile’s call and data rates:

50c per minute all day k’nect to k’nect calls
99c per minute all day calls to other networks
15c per megabyte for any size data bundle, up to 1GB

k’nect mobile also offers the following Xtra rewards for Shoprite customers:

10 percent free on recharge
10 percent Xtra for Xtra Savings card holders
5 percent Xtra when recharging via Money Market Account
Double airtime rewards on Xtra Savings airtime deals

k’nect mobile forms part of the group’s financial services offering.

“k’nect mobile is part of our ever-growing suite of fintech products designed to better serve our customers. We’ve spent a lot of time understanding how a mobile network can add value to our customers’ lives, and our solution is an easy to understand network that offers straightforward call and data rates as well as tangible rewards,” said Jean Olivier, general manager: financial services.

The launch of k’nect mobile comes just days after the Shoprite Group announced that the Xtra Savings Rewards Programme, which was launched in 2019, had reached a 17 million mark.

According to the retailer, it had put R2.1 billion in savings back into the pockets of consumers in the six months ended December through 9 000 monthly grocery deals.

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