How to load data and pay bills across networks in Uganda completely offline

When your data bundle runs out, you can walk into the nearest kiosk and hope that they have airtime scratchcard for your preferred network. If it’s midnight, you might think about your safety first. Now, there are number of Apps such as Xente or Chapchap that enable you buy airtime or data bundles from any network, but when your internet is already run out, that’s also not an option.

Your best bet is to use USSD shortcode services using your phone. If you are loading data for your default network, you could just dial the corresponding data loading code. But if you want to load for another network for instance Africell, then you want to use third party providers.

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252 shortcode services

*252# shortcode services

USSD shortcodes might not be enjoying the same eminence as their past glory days, but they still work. There are at least two USSD shortcodes I have tested and bought data from. One of them is *252#, a product of Trade-Lance Ltd.  *252# is USSD service that offers instant and unlimited access to all Financial services, Goods and Services, School fees payments, Airtime and Internet bundles, Event tickets utility payments and so much more.


Related post: 7 mobile apps that let you pay bills in Uganda


*223# is another good shortcode that offers similar services worth trying out. The shortcode offers Airtime/Data purchase, Utility  bill payments as well as Pay TV renewals.

*223# shortcode services

*223# shortcode services

The shortcode services integrate with MTN Mobile money to process payments. So next time you find yourself running out of bundles and you can’t use an Airtime scratch card,  MTN App, Xente or Chapchap, then these shortcodes might come in handy.

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Image: Softonic