Data prices South Africa
(Photo Illustration by Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
  • Vodacom has reduced the price of certain 30-day data bundles.
  • A 1GB bundle now costs R85, representing a reduction of 14%, while the cost of bundles between 3GB and 20GB remains unchanged.
  • The latest price cut puts Vodacom ahead of MTN and Telkom, but Cell C’s latest promotion is hard to beat.
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Vodacom, South Africa’s largest mobile network provider, has reduced the price of its 30-day data bundles by up to 14% from April onwards. The network provider was pushed into making major price cuts in 2020 by the Competition Commission.

South Africa’s major mobile providers – Vodacom, Telkom, MTN, and Cell C – have spent the last year adjusting their data offerings. In addition to complying with the Competition Commission’s orders, which found that data prices in South Africa were too high, mobile providers say that further independent price cuts are intended to help consumers amid the difficult pandemic period.

MyMTN Home’s competitive LTE offering recently capitalised on the remote working trend, which was followed by Cell C’s own Home Connecta Flexi prepaid deal. Telkom’s Thola More package, launched earlier this month, has added free data benefits as part of its prepaid recharge tariff.  

And while all major players are expanding their router-based offerings, Vodacom’s latest push to reduce the cost of prepaid mobile data to its 43 million customers sees the provider almost halving the price of data since 2019. This aligns with the Competition Commission’s recommendations.

“For the past four years, we have remained relentless and consistent in our approach to democratise access by bringing about affordable mobile prices,” explained Jorge Mendes, the Chief Officer of Vodacom’s Consumer Business.

“Our aim in reducing these prices is to ensure customers are constantly connected on SA’s leading network.”

Here is how the price of 1GB of data now compares across networks.

Data prices South Africa
Data comparison

* 1GB has been automatically upgraded to 2GB (plus 1GB “Nite Data”) as part of Cell C’s “Double Data” promotion

** Refers to data usage during peak times (18:00 to 23:00), with Rain’s month-to-month, off-peak offering charged at R250 a month.

The price of Vodacom’s popular 1GB data bundle sees the biggest outright reduction, while the cost of bundles between 3GB and 20GB remain unchanged. Additionally, Vodacom has upgraded its 150MB bundle to 200MB and its 325MB bundle to 350MB, with the latter priced at R49, representing a 11% reduction.

Although Vodacom’s latest reduction makes it cheaper than MTN and Telkom, Cell C’s ongoing “Double Data” promotion offers 2GB for the price of 1GB, valid for one month. On top of that, it also adds 1GB of “Nite Data”, which can be used between 00:00 and 05:00.

Rain’s data-only-service costs R250 a month and offers unlimited usage between 23:00 and 18:00 the next day. Data usage during peak times – defined by Rain as between 18:00 to 23:00 – is charged at R50 a gig.

(Compiled by Luke Daniel)

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