Vodacom, MTN, Cell C and 8ta are fighting for market share in the mobile data market, and aggressively-priced broadband promotions have become one of the biggest weapons in this fight.
MTN was the latest company to up the ante with its R49 for 500MB and R89 for 1GB mobile data promotions. Both these packages come with a USB modem on a 24 month contract.
This announcement from MTN came only days after Vodacom announced that its 1GB for R99, 2GB for R149, and 3GB for R199 broadband promotion has been extended until 6 December 2012.
Vodacom has also launched new “pay-once data bundles”, offering consumers 1GB of data every 30 days for a year at R1,199 – or 2GB of data every 30 days for a year at R1,999.
The new Vodacom “pay-once data bundles” compete directly against Cell C’s prepaid Smartdata SIM-only packages, which offer subscribers 2GB every 30 days for a year at R1,299. It also takes on 8ta’s 60GB + 60GB promotion which offers consumers 60GB of data (with another 60GB after hours data) at R1,800.
The price war in the mobile data market, which was started by Cell C in September 2010 and fuelled by 8ta with the launch of its 10GB for R199 broadband special, seems to be gaining momentum.
Numerous industry players have indicated that the current promotional prices are well-below cost and are therefore not sustainable, but there seems to be no slowdown in the operators cutting data rates.