MTN Zambia’s 100% Free Data Bundle Promotion: A review


Who doesn’t like rewards? When I heard about the new promotions from MTN Zambia that rewards customers who buy data bundles with a 100% of what bundle they buy, I was chuffed for every subscriber on their network.

This is mainly driven by MTN Group with a very cool advert that will strike a chord with the inner child in all of us and make you feel – oh well – let’s say wish you had Google and Wikipedia when you were growing up. Check out the video here.


What’s the deal?

So if you get a data bundle from between 5MB and 2GB, you will get 100% of that upon activating the bundle.

What’s wrong with it? 

It sounds great until you get to the part where the bundle is only valid for 24hrs. It would be understandable for the smaller bundles because they would probably be depleted by the end of the day anyway by the low end consumer if they’re active on social messenger apps like Whatsapp or BBM (the Android version) which use moderate amounts of data with the exception of picture and audio file transfer.

The larger bundles are usually bought by the average 20-something who is active on social media sites like Instagram that use up a considerable amount of data, or by the professional whose entire business depends on being online.

MTN Zambia could have given the larger free bundles a longer time period, as long as the actual paid-for bundle is valid for. For example their 2GB is valid for a period of 30 days normally but now customers have to figure a way to use up the extra data.

Here’s a comparison of the prices of bundles from all 3 mobile operators in Zambia:


5MB 3.15 (24 HRS) 1 DAY
10MB 5.25 5.25 4.7 30 DAYS
20MB 3.15 (24HRS) 1 DAY
25MB 12.08 10.45 30 DAYS
30MB 12.6 30 DAYS
50MB 21 18.8 30 DAYS
75MB 31.5 30 DAYS
100MB 36.75 30 DAYS
150MB 52.5 30 DAYS
200MB 20 (24HRS) 1 DAY
250MB 78.75 67.95 30 DAYS
300MB 99.75 75.27 30 DAYS
500MB 110.25 110.25 100.36 30 DAYS
800MB 100 (48HRS) 2 DAYS
1GB 131.25 131.25 120.23 30 DAYS
1.5GB 157.50 177.72 30 DAYS
2GB 194.25 194.25 182.95 30 DAYS

From the table it’s clear that Zamtel clearly has the cheapest prices for data bundles across the board. This is clearly a pricing strategy and has nothing to do with considerations of coverage for 3G/4G network, ease of purchasing the bundle, and overall customer experience on that network.

Why would MTN roll out the promotion?

  • Acquisition: To get more customers on board the network.
  • Usage increment: Increase the usage of data on the network
  • Retention: Keep old customers on their network
  • Brand loyalty: bring both old and new customers to love the brand much more and grow brand use for data.


The MTN 100% data promotion is a great gift to users of data countrywide but what’s the point of a gift with an expiration that quick? They could have made the validity longer for the free data, even as long as the bundle that’s actually being paid for, i.e 30 days.

Secondly, they should have considered the network congestion issue that others like Airtel recently faced due to increased traffic in their data space. There was poor internet connectivity and now MTN might fall prey to the same thing if their bandwidth can not handle the increased use from customers who are trying to finish their free data in 24 hrs.

We will keep an eye the internet quality, as usual.


Tech Blogger & Marketer.