Shoprite launches new mobile network

By Jamie McKane for MyBroadband

Shoprite has launched its own mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) called K’nect Mobile which offers flat call and data rates.

The network also provides new customers with 100MB free data for three months and rewards Shoprite, Checkers, and Usave customers with free data and airtime when they make qualifying purchases.

Last week, Shoprite CEO Pieter Engelbrecht said the launch of Shoprite’s own virtual mobile network was imminent, adding that it would allow the company to enhance its use of customer data even further.

“In a world where data access is a necessity, this move also means the Shoprite Group is now truly a one-stop-shop for its customers,” Shoprite said.

“K’nect Mobile’s key differentiator is simplicity, with flat call and data rates, and no complicated tiers.”

“Airtime, data bundles and rewards only expire after 60 days, rather than the more common 30-day expiry,” it added.

Users of products in the Shoprite Group’s ecosystem, such as Xtra Savings account holders, can earn free airtime, data, or streaming content when swiping their XtraSavings cards at checkout.

Other rewards include early access to Computicket events and tickets, and 100MB free for three months (six months for Xtra Savings members), subject to in-store RICA and activation.

The prepaid cellular network runs on the mobile network infrastructure of Cell C, which roams in turn on MTN’s physical infrastructure.

Shoprite said the network would become available to customers next month.

Rates and Xtra rewards
K’nect Mobile offers the following data and call rates to its customers:

  • 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

It also offers the following Xtra rewards to users with qualifying accounts:

  • 10% free on recharge
  • 10% Xtra for Xtra Savings cardholders
  • 5% Xtra when recharging via Money Market Account
  • Double airtime rewards on Xtra Savings airtime deals

K’nect Mobile SIM card will also benefit from zero-rated data on selected Shoprite and Checkers websites and apps, including the Money Market Account, Computicket website, and the Group’s jobs portal.

“At the same time, the move will help the Shoprite Group streamline communication and drastically reduce its internal data costs,” the company said.

“Its 141 000 employees are now able to receive communications directly on the Group’s internal app (called SiyaRinga) without the need to reverse data costs.”

It said the network forms part of the company’s financial services offering, which enables customers to pay bills, buy cell phones, make money transfers, buy airtime and data, lotto tickets, electricity and funeral insurance in partnership with OUTsurance.

“K’nect Mobile is part of our ever-growing suite of fintech products designed to better serve our customers,” said Shoprite financial services general manager Jean Olivier.

“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.”

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