Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini now has his own cellphone network – and a GB data costs 45% more than at Telkom
- Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini launched his mobile service Bayede Mobile in November.
- Sim cards for the mobile service will only be available in KwaZulu-Natal at launch, but connectivity nationwide through the Cell C network.
- Business Insider South Africa compared Bayede’s pricing with existing operators.
- For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.
Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini launched his new cellular network Bayede Mobile in November.
Bayede (which translates to "hail" in isiZulu) Mobile promises to provide affordable cellular services service to South Africans and make use of existing mobile infrastructure
Speaking to Business Insider South Africa, Bayede Mobile cofounder Jane Nkadimang said the cellular service’ sim cards are only being distributed in KwaZulu-Natal at launch.
However, network coverage is nationwide as we leverage the use of the Cell C infrastructure and also benefit from their roaming agreement with other network operators, Nkadimang said.
She said in the first quarter of 2020 the company will start distributing sim cards in the Gauteng province as well.
Bayede Mobile’s pricing is similar to Telkom’s offering, and relatively cheaper than Vodacom and MTN’s.
However, from 250MB upward, Telkom’s pricing is cheaper with a GB data costing R100 at Telkom, compared to R145 at Bayede.
Cell C currently has the cheapest mobile data offering in South Africa with its 24summer promotion. Rain offers a pay-as-you-use service which works out to R50 per GB data, but does not provide consumers with a cellular number.
Nkadimang said Bayede Mobile hopes to invest in its own telecommunications infrastructure, and invites private investors to particularly invest in the KwaZulu-Natal province.
The mobile service is launched in partnership with JB holdings, which has infamous businessman Roux Shabangu as one of its directors.
Shabangu was at the centre of a number of controversial property deals with government over the years, including a deal that saw Bheki Cele fired as police commissioner.
Bheki Cele lost his job as police comissioner in 2012 after he signed two police lease deals involving Shabangu. The Gauteng High Court in Pretoria set aside the decision in August.
Former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela found that Cele has been guilty of improper conduct and maladministration when the police authorised a R500 million lease for the new SAPS headquarters in Pretoria – a deal that benefited Shabangu, a friend of former president Jacob Zuma.
The Land Bank has also laid a claim against Shabangu about a failed deal.
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