Vodacom offers free data for a day [ITWeb]
(ITWeb Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub says consumers can expect more "new firsts" from the company throughout 2014.
Vodacom is giving its over 33 million customers 1GB of free data to use tomorrow, Sunday, 11 May.
This comes as the mobile operator, SA's largest by customer number, celebrates its 20th birthday.
Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub says the "birthday gift" is valid only for a day. "No strings attached, just a huge thank-you for being with us over the last 20 years."
Joosub says customers can expect further "new firsts" as the operator celebrates its two-decade milestone throughout the rest of the year.
To check the balance of the 1GB allocation, customers can dial *111*600#. The data will be valid until 23:59pm on 11 May.
In a statement this morning, Vodacom took a look back at the history of mobile: "In September 1993, a prominent newspaper columnist suggested that for most consumers, cellular telephones were about as 'necessary as the hula hoop, the yo-yo and battery-operated luminous socks' and dismissed them as 'executive toys' for the rich.
"Fast-forward 20 years and the cellphone has become an indispensable tool used by more than four billion people worldwide. In SA, there are now more than 60 million of these 'executive toys' in use, and demand is still growing.
"The mobile revolution became a reality in SA at 5am on 1 June 1994 when Vodacom activated the phones of more than 36 000 subscribers for the first time ever. It was initially estimated that the market could potentially grow to 250 000 subscribers.
"By the end of 1995, this was already surpassed, with 400 000 cellphones in use in the country. Within four years, Vodacom alone had more than one million customers. Twenty years after the network was first lit up, Vodacom now has over 33 million customers."
Vodacom says the company has a history of firsts. "[Vodacom] was the first company in the world to launch prepaid services on an intelligent network platform, making mobile communications accessible to all South Africans.
"[The company] went on to be the first local network operator to introduce services such as international roaming, fax and data communications, voicemail, emergency services and a 3G network. In 2012, it was also the first South African operator to launch a LTE (4G) high-speed data network."
Taking a look back at his personal Vodacom story, Joosub says he has "had the honour" of being with Vodacom from the beginning. "The journey since the launch of commercial operations in 1994 has been remarkable. We couldn't have imagined in our wildest dreams how quickly the company would grow and how large the business would eventually become."
Over the years, says Vodacom, it has invested over R70 billion to set up its network, which includes over 10 000 towers nationwide and covers 99.8% of the population.
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