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How To Stop Mtn From Using Airtime For Data?

Quick Summary

This blog post provides a comprehensive guide on how to stop MTN from using airtime for data. It explains the in-bundle rates offered by MTN, how to opt-out of them, and alternative methods to manage data usage and expenses. By following the steps outlined in this post, users can prevent their airtime from being used for data and avoid excessive charges.


Welcome to Answerly, your go-to source for answers to common questions. In this blog post, we will be addressing a frequently asked question about how to stop MTN from using airtime for data.

MTN is one of the leading mobile network providers in South Africa and offers various services including in-bundle rates for data usage within active data bundles. However, some users prefer not to use their airtime for data due to its expensive costs per megabyte compared to other options available.

In this article, we will provide you with comprehensive information on how you can opt-out of using MTN airtime for data and explore alternative ways of managing expenses related to mobile operators. So let’s dive right into it!

Understanding MTN’s in-bundle rates for data usage

MTN, one of South Africa’s leading mobile network providers, offers customers the option to purchase data bundles that come with in-bundle rates. These in-bundle rates are lower than out-of-bundle or default data charges and can be charged from either airtime or contract usage limit.

The introduction of these in-bundle rates aims to provide more affordable options for users who frequently use mobile internet services. By opting for a monthly data bundle, both prepaid and contract customers can take advantage of reduced costs per megabyte compared to standard pay-as-you-go pricing.

For prepaid customers, the launch date for the new in-bundle rate system is set on March 13th, 2020. Contract customers will have access to this feature starting April 2nd, 2020. It is important to note that once activated within an active data bundle subscription period (monthly), these discounted rates remain valid until the expiration date of your current bundle.

By offering lower prices through their bundled plans rather than charging at regular pay-as-you-go tariffs when using up available airtime credit or exceeding contracted limits; MTN seeks not only cost savings but also customer satisfaction by providing better value-for-money solutions tailored specifically towards individual needs and preferences.

How to stop MTN from using airtime for data

Opting out of the in-bundle rate is a simple process that can help you avoid unnecessary charges on your MTN account. Whether you are a contract customer or prepaid customer, here’s how you can stop MTN from using airtime for data:

For Contract Customers:

  1. Dial *136# on your mobile device.
  2. Select option 4 – “Manage My Services.”
  3. Choose the option to opt-out of the in-bundle rate.

By following these steps, you will no longer be charged from your airtime or contract usage limit when using data within active bundles.

For Prepaid Customers:

  1. Dial *135# on your mobile device.
  2. Navigate through the menu options and look for an option related to managing services or subscriptions.
  3. Choose the appropriate selection that allows opting out of the in-bundle rate.

Once completed, this action ensures that any future data usage will not deduct funds directly from your prepaid balance but rather utilize separate purchased bundles instead.

In addition to opting out of the in-bundle rates, it is also important to manage spend effectively and avoid unexpected charges due to exceeding allocated limits by monitoring one’s own consumption patterns regularly. To assist with this task, MTN provides various tools such as their official app which enables users to track their remaining bundle balances, data usage history, and purchase additional bundles if needed. Another method available involves dialing *135# for prepaid customers and *135#, option 3 for contract customers. These methods allow easy access to detailed information about current data usage as well as the ability to buy additional bundles before exhausting the existing ones. This way, you can stay in control of your spending and avoid unwanted out-of-bundle rates which are typically higher than in-bundle charges.

Taking advantage of these options will help you stop MTN from using airtime for data while also ensuring that you don’t exceed your allocated data quota and end up with unexpected charges on your bill.

Why some users prefer not to use MTN airtime for data

MTN, one of the leading mobile network providers in South Africa, offers a service called MTN airtime data. This service allows users to purchase and use mobile data directly from their prepaid accounts without subscribing to additional bundles or packages. While this may seem convenient at first glance, many users have opted against using MTN airtime for data due to several reasons.

Expensive cost per megabyte

One major concern is the expensive cost per megabyte associated with using MTN airtime for internet access. Compared to other options available in South Africa such as bundled plans and prepaid packages offered by various telecommunications companies, the cost of browsing on an ad-hoc basis through your existing balance can quickly add up.

Bundled plans

Bundled plans are specifically designed with affordability in mind and offer larger amounts of data at lower rates compared to paying per megabyte via your account’s airtime balance. These plans often come with added benefits like free minutes or SMSes that cater more comprehensively towards customers’ communication needs.

Prepaid packages

Prepaid packages also provide attractive alternatives when it comes to managing expenses related to mobile operators. With these packages, you can choose a specific amount of monthly recurring bundle tailored according to your usage patterns. This allows for better control over your data expenses and avoids the risk of unexpected charges.

How to disable MTN airtime for data usage

If you prefer not to use your MTN airtime for data and want to prevent any accidental charges, you can easily disable data usage on your device. Follow the step-by-step guide below:

Step 1: Go to the “Settings” menu within your device’s settings app.

On most devices, this can be found by swiping down from the top of the screen and tapping on the gear icon.

Step 2: Select the “Mobile Networks” option under Wireless & Network Settings section.

The exact wording may vary depending on your device model or operating system version.

Step 3: Turn off (disable) the “Data Enabled” toggle switch located at the bottom right corner next to the Cellular Network Preference option.

By disabling this toggle switch, you are preventing your device from using MTN airtime for internet access. It will only allow voice calling without utilizing any mobile data until it is enabled again.

It’s important to note that once disabled, all apps and services requiring an internet connection will no longer work unless connected via Wi-Fi. This includes browsing websites, accessing social media platforms, or streaming videos online while using cellular network connectivity.

Disabling data usage is a useful feature if you wish to solely rely on Wi-Fi connections when accessing these types of services in order to save costs associated with consuming mobile operator-provided bundles or subscriptions like those offered by MTN.

Remember that whenever necessary, you have full control over enabling/disabling Data Usage as per requirement through the above-mentioned steps.


Disabling data usage for MTN airtime can be a smart move when it comes to managing your expenses. By opting out of using airtime for data, you can prevent excessive charges and hefty bills that may occur if you exceed your allocated data quota.

One of the main benefits of disabling data usage is cost control. MTN’s in-bundle rates for data usage within active bundles are generally lower than out-of-bundle rates or using airtime directly. By opting out, you ensure that your mobile internet costs remain within budget and avoid any unexpected surprises on your bill.

Additionally, by staying within your allocated data quota, you have better visibility over how much mobile internet you’re consuming. This allows you to plan accordingly and make informed decisions about purchasing additional bundles or adjusting your browsing habits as needed.

It’s important to note that while disabling data usage prevents access to the internet through cellular networks, voice calling will still be available on most devices unless explicitly disabled separately.

If controlling expenses related to mobile operators is a priority for you, then disabling MTN airtime for Data could prove beneficial compared to subscribing costly monthly packs or bundles offered by companies like MTN.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question 1: Can I still use the internet if I disable data usage?

No, disabling data usage will prevent your device from accessing the internet. It is important to note that this action only disables mobile data and does not affect Wi-Fi connectivity. You can still connect to Wi-Fi networks for internet access.

Question 2: Will disabling data usage affect other apps or services on my device?

Disabling data usage will only restrict mobile network access for applications and services that require an active internet connection. Apps like social media platforms, web browsers, email clients, and online streaming services may be affected as they rely on a stable cellular network connection for their functionality.

However, it’s worth mentioning that some apps have offline capabilities where you can continue using certain features without an active internet connection. Additionally, any app or service connected through Wi-Fi will remain unaffected by disabling mobile data.

Question 3: How can I check my MTN Data Usage?

To check your MTN Data Usage:

  • Prepaid Customers
  • You can dial *135# from your phone keypad and select option “5” (Balance & Bundles) followed by option “4” (Data Balance). This will provide you with information about how much of your allocated bundle has been used.

    Alternatively, you could also download the MyMTN App available in both Android Play Store or Apple App Store which allows easy tracking of remaining balance along with additional benefits such as purchasing bundles directly within the application itself.

  • Contract Customers
  • Contract customers are advised to log into their self-service portal via https://www.mtn.co.za/selfservice/portal/site/login.jsp. Once logged in successfully navigate towards ‘My Account’ section wherein all relevant details including current plan status would be displayed.

    Please note these methods might vary slightly depending upon updates made by MTN so always refer back to official sources when checking balances.

Question 4: Can I enable data usage again after disabling it?

Yes, you can re-enable data usage on your device by following the same steps mentioned earlier to disable it. Simply go back to the “Settings” menu within your device’s settings app, select “Mobile Networks,” and turn on the “Data Enabled” toggle switch.

Enabling data usage will allow your device to access mobile network services for internet connectivity once again.

Question 5: Are there any other ways to manage expenses related to mobile operators?

Yes, apart from disabling MTN airtime for data usage, there are several other methods available that can help you manage expenses related to mobile operators:

  1. Purchase Data Bundles or Packages – Mobile networks often offer various prepaid bundles or packages with specific amounts of included voice minutes, SMS messages, and a certain amount of allocated data at more affordable rates compared to using standard airtime.
  2. Monitor Your Usage – Keep track of how much cellular/mobile network-based activities (such as browsing websites or streaming videos) consume in terms of megabytes/gigabytes so that you have an idea about what kind/size bundle/package would be suitable based upon personal requirements.
  3. Set Data Limits & Alerts – Many smartphones provide options where users can set limits/alerts when their monthly/daily quota is reached; this helps avoid unexpected charges due exceeding allotted quotas/bundles/packages.
  4. Use Wi-Fi Whenever Possible – Utilize Wi-Fi connections whenever they’re accessible since these do not utilize cellular/mobile operator-provided resources thus saving costs associated with them.

Remember always check official sources such as MTN website/applications/social media channels etc., for the latest information regarding plans, bundle offers, rates, and policies before making decisions.


  1. https://www.mtn.co.za/Pages/Bundlerates.aspx
  2. https://askly.co.za/how-to-stop-mtn-from-using-airtime-for-data/
  3. https://www.thefuse.co.za/go/eK0ut2E

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