The massive price differences between contract and prepaid data in SA

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) has published a report on the analysis of tariffs submitted by Vodacom, MTN, Telkom, and Cell C from 01 January 2017 to 30 June 2017.

The report highlights the different tariff plans (prices and product offerings) which were filed and/or existed in the market during the period under review

It also provided a summary on the various initiatives that Icasa currently has underway as measures to address cost to communicate in South Africa.

“It is Icasa’s view that the publication of the report would enable consumers to make an informed choice, in terms of tariff plan preferences and/or preferred network providers based on their different offerings,” it said.

“Even though the report is retrospective, it does however serve as an important information dispensing tool, in that most plans are likely to still exist in the market beyond the period under review, thus it still does provide important insights to consumers.”

This means that recent announcements by Cell C and Vodacom that they plan to slash the cost of out-of-bundle (OOB) prices during the month of October, were not considered.

You can find these latest changes detailed below as provided by MyBroadband.


New prepaid OOB prices

Vodacom recently announced it will reduce out-of-bundle data prices from mid-October.

Prepaid out-of-bundle tariffs will be reduced from R1.50 or R2 per MB to 99c. Out-of-bundle rates for contract subscribers were reduced to 89c per MB at the start of the month.

This follows Cell C reducing many of its out-of-bundle data tariffs to 15c per MB in September.

The reductions come after Icasa revealed its plan to regulate OOB data and data expiry.

Network Price per MB
Afrihost  R0.10
Cell C 66c  R0.15
 Telkom  R0.29
 MTN  R0.99
 Vodacom   R0.99
 FNB Connect  R1.00

Contract out-of-bundle rates

OOB tariffs on postpaid vary by package. For example, an MTN Made for Me Small has an OOB rate of R0.99 per MB, while Made for Me XL is R0.50 per MB .

Always check the terms of your contract to see what your OOB data rate is.

Network Price per MB
Cell C Connector  R0.15
 Telkom  R0.29
 MTN (with add-on bundle)  R0.50
 Vodacom  R0.89
 MTN*  R0.99
 Cell C (other)  R0.99

*MTN may decreases the OOB rate based on the size of the contract package.


Prepaid data from 01 January – 30 June

As part of its report, Icasa provided a comparative analysis of the data bundle prices charged by the four licensees in terms of their prepaid data bundles.

This comparison shows the difference in terms of absolute value and percentage value of the data charges, in terms of in-bundle plans and out of bundle rates (OOB) of the same volume of data.

Although each licensee is charging an out-of-bundle rate that is different from other licensees, all out-of-bundle rates are standard in relation to the data bundles packages offered by that operator.

The variance in terms of the 500MB range between 110% and 910%, with Vodacom having the highest variance percentage and Telkom Mobile at the lowest percentage (%) variance.

On the 1GB data bundle, variance ranges between 1545% and 200%, with Vodacom having the highest variance in terms of percentages and Telkom Mobile having the lowest percentage variances.

Cell C and Vodacom are charging the same rates for the price of 1GB and 3GB. Both licensees charge R149.00 for 1GB and R299.00 for 3GB, with Telkom Mobile charging the lowest rates for both data bundles, R99.00 for 1GB and R199.00 for 3GB.

Telkom Mobile had the lowest charges for most of the prepaid data packages in the period under review with respect to licensees who filed notifications.

Click on images to enlarge.


You can read the full report here

Read: Vodacom rebrands for all things digital – including driverless cars

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The massive price differences between contract and prepaid data in SA