File picture: Reuters
File picture: Reuters

MTN will offer you 1GB to download the zero rated Covid-19 Alert App

By Yasmine Jacobs Time of article published Jan 12, 2021

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In a bid to get South Africans to download and use the COVID-19 Alert app, MTN will reward customers with 1GB of free data for an hour after download as a reward for their efforts in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic. The added bonus is that the app is zero-rated so you won’t use any data when downloading it.

The COVID Alert SA app uses Bluetooth contact-tracing technology to let people know when they have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. The app was designed by Discovery for the National Department of Health. The contract-tracing technology is perfectly safe and will preserve app user privacy.

“For Bluetooth contact tracing to be effective, at least 10-15% of the population must download and use app in a given area. At 60% uptake, suppression of the virus can be achieved. This is why we have taken the steps to zero rate and even reward our customers whom have downloaded the app,” said MTN SA’s executive for Corporate Affairs, Jacqui O’Sullivan.

Since the start of the nationwide lockdown, MTN has joined forces with government to zero rate over 900 websites to ensure that South Africans are able to access important online resources and information during the Covid-19 pandemic.

This is how to use the COVID Alert App.

– Download the app on the Play Store.

– Make sure you enable notification and turn on your Bluetooth.

– Allow the app to run in the background.

How does Bluetooth contract tracing work?

The app uses Bluetooth signals to exchange data (known as random codes) with other smartphone users when they are in close proximity to eachother. They then give eachother a ’digital handshake’. This is why your Bluetooth needs to be enabled and why you allow the app to run in the background. The random codes are exchanged during this digital handshake and this information is stored in a log on both phones for 14 days.


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