Make 3rd party apps datafree

Connect is a new and powerful enterprise-level product from Datafree that allows you to make any Android app datafree without any coding or development work. You simply tell us which apps you would like to make datafree and we customize a Connect Client App that end users can install on their phone.

When an end user installs and launches the Connect Client App, the pre-defined apps work datafree, meaning they don’t consume the end user’s mobile data.

The Connect Client App

The Connect Client is a branded Android app that your end users will install on their phones. We configure the Connect Client so that your datafree apps are displayed as tiles on the home screen. 

When the Connect Client is opened on the phone, a VPN connection is established, and the end user can start any of the datafree apps from within the Connect Client. Even if a datafree app is opened outside the Connect Client, the app will run datafree since the VPN connection is established.

If a datafree app is shown in the Connect Client but not yet installed on the phone, a default icon will be displayed. Tapping on the icon will take the user to the Play store to download the app.

Dynamically Control Datafree Access using Authentication

If your Connect Client includes datafree access to popular apps such as WhatsApp, Microsoft Teams, or Google Maps, we recommend requiring your users to authenticate. That way, you can be sure only valid users have datafree access.

When optional authentication is enabled on the Connect Client, the user is first asked to enter their username and password before having access to the datafree apps. Credentials are verified by an API call via a POST request to a customer’s web service URL.

Optionally enabling authentication on the Connect Client is a great way to dynamically control who has access to your datafree apps.

Connect Architecture


Requests from predefined Datafree Apps go down the VPN tunnel via the mobile network to the Connect VPN Server. Traffic gets forwarded on to back end servers which service the requests.

Responses return via the Connect VPN Server to the requesting device. Datafree Connect handles all data tracking and log processing in order to provide robust and transparent reporting on usage.

Going live on Connect is simple 

  • Register on our Datafree Portal.
  • Tell us which apps you want to make datafree for your end users.
  • Sit back while we configure your Connect Client app. This takes no longer than 48 hours.

Quick to Market

Traditionally, mobile network operators (MNOs) have been able to zero-rate IP addresses for customers. However, zero-rating an IP address means weeks or months of waiting and testing with each MNO. If you want to reach all mobile phone users in South Africa, that would mean a time-consuming process with four different MNOs and when zero-rated, all you are given is a lump sum data invoice from each MNO for traffic across that IP address.

With Connect, you are live across all MNOs within 48 hours–not weeks or months–with access to detailed daily reporting on data usage.

We are datafree on all networks in South Africa

Datafree has reverse billing agreements with the four major South Africa MNOs.*

  • Mobile traffic associated with the Datafree Apps is logged on our Connect VPN Server.
  • We aggregate the data cost from all mobile networks into one bill.
  • You pay for the traffic for the Datafree Apps. End users pay nothing.
  • We provide detailed reporting so you can fully understand data usage.
  • A user with zero balance can use the Datafree Apps at no data cost.

We add value to your reverse billed solution

  • Your Connect app is immediately datafree across all MNOs.
  • You can enter daily and/or monthly data consumption quotas. This allows you receive alerts when you are getting close to your consumption limits.
  • You can log into our Datafree Portal any time and see data usage reporting, manage your quotas and get technical support.
  • We provide detailed reporting so you can understand user data consumption.
  • Our platform is highly secure. We only allow whitelisted traffic through our Connect VPN Server. Traffic from unregistered apps are blocked and logged.

* Datafree also has agreements with Nigeria and Cameroon MNOs, and are in the process of expanding to other countries in the region.

Read more about Datafree Connect in our Knowledge Base