Cell C announced on 6 June 2012 that it would be reducing its contract rates with the launch of six “Straight Up” packages for postpaid and hybrid (Top-Up) customers on 22 June 2012. Vodacom and MTN seem unlikely to respond to Cell C’s price cuts soon.
Cell C’s “Straight Up” packages range from Straight Up 30 to Straight Up 800, offering subscribers the same number of voice minutes, SMSs and MB of data as the price (in Rands) which they pay. For instance when you buy a Straight Up 100 package, you get 100 minutes, 100 SMSs or MMSs, and 100 MB of data for R100.
Cell C has also slashed the price of its contract voice rates to 99c per minute, independent of the network called or the time of day at which the call is made.
Vodacom said that they have a number of interesting products and plans in the pipeline, but could not provide details at this stage.
“In addition to looking at value, we’ve also been focusing very heavily on network quality and capacity. It wouldn’t make sense to attract new customers if service levels then deteriorated due to the additional volume,” said Vodacom spokesperson Richard Boorman.
“We’ve invested R7 billion on our network in SA over the past twelve months and increased the number of 3G base stations by just under 25%. We’re also looking to keep up a similar pace of investment this year.”
Serame Taukobong, chief marketing officer at MTN SA, said that they always maintained that it offers value to its customers and is guided by the needs of its customers.
“These packages [Cell C's new contract packages] are not new to the market, as most SA operators have always packaged value with SMS and data at similar prices,” said Taukobong.
“As testament to our customer centricity, MTN currently offers one of the most attractive and simple off peak contract packages with calls for as little as 95c per minute, charged at per second billing rates, and has been in the market for the past 24 months.”
“Furthermore, MTN also offers a bring-your-own device deal for as little as R29, which gives consumers access to an additional R50 worth of airtime value. The Top Up customer also benefits from MTN Zone discounts up to 100%, which are on the same deal, and in that way gets even more value,” said Taukobong.