Telkom has launched the new Freed@ portal to bridge the digital divide between businesses and consumers. The portal allows businesses to create and share content that consumers are rewarded for engaging with.

The Telkom Freed@ portal offers consumers digital currency, T-Coins, for engaging with the content put up by businesses. These T-Coins can be redeemed as Telkom data and airtime, and entries into a weekly R5 000 cash-draw competition.

Businesses are able to market on the Freed@ platform by paying to put up content such as image and video adverts and surveys that help them gain insights into their consumers and sell to them directly. The portal pushes consumers to the business’s websites where they can make purchases.

Telkom Freed@ will be zero-rated for Telkom mobile users allowing businesses to market to Telkom users at no data cost while rewarding them for engaging. The app will also be available to other network carriers.

Additionally, consumers will be able to use a basic text based chat platform for messaging and engage with educational content.

Lunga Siyo, CEO of Telkom Business and Yellow Pages, says: “Telkom has always been behind products and services that ensure greater access and opportunity to all South Africans. Freed@ is a platform that will ensure underserved consumers are not left behind by the digital economy by giving them affordable access to goods and services through this digital platform.”

Data affordability has created a gap between consumers and businesses. Consumers who cannot afford to browse online for goods and services due to the high volumes of data consumption online platforms and digital adverts take up, are left behind in an ever-digitising economy. Businesses also lose customers because data is such a high barrier to entry for goods and services offered online.

Telkom Freed@ bridges this divide by zero-rating the platform and rewarding the consumer for engaging while businesses are able to advertise direct to consumers. This takes Telkom’s mission to leave no man behind to the next level.