Telecoms in Uganda haven’t yet added an option that allows users to buy airtime for any network. All networks only allow users to purchase airtime for themselves or other users on the same work.
However, there is a platform called International Airtime Top Up which allows users to buy airtime for any network from their mobile money accounts.
This platform that is accessible via USSD codes allows an inter-network airtime purchase. The platform is currently working with MTN and Airtel, who have the most popular mobile money services in the country. However, they are planning to add other mobile money services like Africell Money.
This implies that you can currently use your MTN Mobile Money or Airtel Money to buy airtime for any other network in Uganda. The service also works if you want to buy airtime for friends abroad.
The procedure is as easy as buying airtime from your mobile money account. Below we walk you through the process.
On your mobile phone, dial *210*10# to open the International Airtime Top-up platform. This will give you a bunch of options to choose from. For airtime purchase, choose option 1 that is labeled “Airtime (Ugandan networks)”. This opens into another pop-up that requests you to enter the phone number to buy the airtime for. After entering the number, click send.
This opens into a pop-up requesting you to choose an amount of airtime to send. Select the amount you are want to buy and click send. This will charge you a small fee of around Shs110 from your airtime. Note that the International Airtime Top-Up platform will only open if you have more than Shs150 on your phone where the charge is made.
You will now receive a message confirming your airtime purchase and will be notified to visit your mobile money account to confirm the payment.
Launch into your mobile platform in the usual way. MTN customers dial *165# and select my approvals. A second charge of 220 will be added to the amount of airtime you wanted to buy to give you a final amount. For this example, a purchase of Shs1, 000 worth of airtime for an Airtel number was initiated by an MTN number. The final charge was Shs1, 220, including the airtime purchased. If you agree with the charges, enter your mobile money PIN and approve the transaction.
This will now credit the airtime onto the number you entered. For the transaction to be successful, the user buying has to have airtime on their phone and have a mobile money account where the airtime transaction is to be deducted. For our entire purchase of 1000 airtime, an expenditure of around Shs1400 was charged. This amount includes the 1000 airtime sent.
Follow the thread below for details on how to make a transaction.
— Intl Airtime Top Up (@IntAirtimeTopUp) July 10, 2018