When ADSL was first launched in 2002, Telkom offered a 512kbps ADSL service with a 3GB ISP account for a total cost of R967 per month.
The ADSL ISP market did not enjoy much competition in the early days, and South Africans became accustomed to paying between R50 and R70 for a gigabyte of ADSL data.
ADSL data prices plummet
This all changed in September 2009 when Afrihost shook up the market with its R29 per GB ADSL product range.
Afrihost admitted that its ‘below cost’ ADSL strategy was risky, but looking back it was one of the best decisions the company took. Over the last four years Afrihost increased its revenue from R14 million to R400 million per year.
The next big move came in March 2010 when MWEB launched affordable uncapped ADSL products, including its entry level uncapped 394kbps service for R219 per month.
MWEB’s affordable uncapped accounts put pressure on ISPs to increase the value of their capped products.
What followed over the next three-and-a-half years were numerous ADSL data price cuts, partly fuelled by IPC and bandwidth cost reductions.
The following chart shows the price per GB of ADSL data for 2002 (when ADSL was launched), compared to 2009 and 2013.
The following chart shows how the effective price for ADSL (the all-inclusive cost) changed over the last decade. For this comparison the Price/Mbps/GB was used, using the most popular packages at the time.
Cheapest capped ADSL products in history
Over the last few months, capped ADSL prices have plummeted, with Vox Telecom, Afrihost, and Openweb offering capped products with an effective rate of less than R5 per GB.
The following table lists some of the lowest capped ADSL data bundles available to consumers.
|ISP||GB||Price||Price per GB|