Frequently Asked Questions

What does Smartcall do?

Smartcall has business agreements with all major Telecommunication operators in South Africa for the distribution of connectivity services, Starter Packs, prepaid airtime, value added WASP services and custom-built recharge solutions; Smartcall also evelops and hosts WEB, USSD and SMS-based services and products; and supports dealer stock management software for our dealer in the formal and informal sector.

Prepaid Airtime and Data bundles Services

For any of the following products: Vodacom Airtime, Cell C Airtime, MTN Airtime, Airtime Discounts, Bulk Airtime vouchers, Bulk transfers, prepaid starters, Vodacom prepaid starters, VSP2, Starter packs, simcards, Smartload, smartcall online, load-a-buddy, USSD, terminals, price plans, airtime vouchers please contact

What does Smartcall do for the informal sector?

Smartcall has since its establishment in 1998 launched active campaigns to empower the informal sector, setting up distribution chains and training our dealers and customers to make use of all available technologies and opportunities to set up their own businesses.

What is Mobile Number Portability?

Mobile number portability allows network users to move from one network to another while still keeping their original cell number. A customer needs to request a number port from a service provider of the network they want to port to, who will then initiate the porting process. A customer may port between networks every 3 months.

To port to Smartcall, go to any Vodashop and speak to a sales assistant, or contact the Smartcall Customer Care Centre.

How do I do a SIM swap?

If your Smartcall SIM card should be lost, damaged or stolen you can do a SIM swap (SIM replacement) using any other Smartcall starter pack. Your credit balance will be carried over and you will keep your number. To do a SIM swap, find your new starter pack and call 100 as for a normal activation. You will be prompted to select either “Normal Activation” or “SIM Replacement” – select SIM Replacement and you will be put through to an operator that will help you do the SIM swap.

Or, go to any Vodashop and ask a sales assistant for help, or contact the Smartcall Customer Care Centre.

Should I choose prepaid or contract?

Prepaid: To become a prepaid subscriber you only need to buy a cellphone and a starter pack. There are no additional monthly costs, credit checks or credit approval. You buy recharge vouchers as you need them. Your airtime window and cellphone credit will be extended every time you buy a voucher according to the value of the voucher. Calls are however more expensive per minute than with a contract subscription.

Advantages of PREPAID Starters

• No contracts, credit checks, credit approvals or long-term commitment.
• No monthly billing, extra or hidden costs – you pay in advance for what you use.
• Topping up your account is easy.
• You have access to most cellphone services for example voice mail, SMSing, CLIP etc, and can make use of the prepaid roaming facilities in some neighboring countries.

Disadvantages of PREPAID

• Cost per minute is higher than with contract subscriptions.
• Cost per SMS is usually higher than with contract subscriptions.
• If you do not use your phone for 7 months your number will be disconnected from the network.

When should I select PREPAID?

• If you do not want to commit to a long-term contract.
• If you are a first-time cellphone user who might not yet have a clear idea of your cellular usage patterns/expenses/budgeting.
• If you want to have a clear, pre-determined cellphone budget (for example students).
• If you only use a cellphone occasionally.
• If you only want a cellphone for emergencies, for example parents buying cellphones for their kids for emergency purposes.
• If you will only be in the country for a short time or infrequently.

Contract: Subscribing to a cellphone contract usually involves signing a 2-year contract with a fixed monthly cost. This usually includes a handset (cellphone) and a certain amount of free minutes per month. SMS bundles can be added to the contract at a fixed cost, lowering the overall cost of SMS communication. You are billed monthly for the contract subscription, calls made “outside” of your free minutes allocation and any additional services like SMS bundles, CLIP (Caller Line Identity Presentation), etc.

If you cancel the contract before the 2 years have expired you will have to pay a penalty which can range from a flat fee amount to a charge per month remaining on your contract. You will also have to go through credit checks and approval before you qualify to become a contract subscriber. Calls are however cheaper per minute than with prepaid.

Advantages of CONTRACT

• You do not have to worry about “running out of credit” when you have to make a call.
• You will get free minutes to use per month, depending on the package you select.
• You usually get a handset (cellphone) included in your contract
• You have access to the complete range of cellphone services including full international roaming, data calls, faxing, etc.
• Calls are cheaper per minute.
• SMSs are usually cheaper per SMS, you can also buy SMS bundles to lower the cost even further.

Disadvantages of CONTRACT

• Contracts are subject to credit checks and approval.
• You will have to budget for a montly bill which could be unexpectedly high if you don’t use your contract responsibly.
• You are bound to the contract for 24 months and will have to pay penalty fees for early cancellations.

How do I check my prepaid balance?

Vodacom subscribers dial *135#
MTN subscribers dial *141#
Cell C subscribers dial *136#
Telkom subscribers dial *188#
Virgin Mobile subscribers dial *101#
Lyca Mobile subscribers dial *131#
Econet subscribers dial *100#

What is my emergency helpline number?

All networks: Dial 082 112 in case of emergency

What is Smartload?

Smartload is a Smartcall product allowing you to make money selling prepaid airtime and data! It also brings you the convenience of recharging any prepaid subscriber on any network from your mobile phone. Read more about Smartload.

What is Load-a-Buddy?

Load-a-Buddy is a Smartcall product that let you recharge any friend or family member by simply sending an SMS or selecting your recharge options from an easy-to-use USSD menu. Read more about Load-a-Buddy.