The long walk to R2 per GB

Afrihost recently slashed the price of its capped ADSL products, with the cost of data dipping below R2 per GB. This is 40 times lower than what people paid for ADSL data a decade ago.

When Telkom launched its first ADSL products in August 2002, the price for a residential 512kbps ADSL service was R680 per month. Businesses had to fork out R800 per month for the same service.

Back in the day users had only one choice for ADSL data – a 3GB account which cost R219 per month.

This remained the status quo until April 2005 when Telkom increased the price to R249 for a 3GB account.

Apart from a slight adjustment in August 2007, when the price was reduced to R239 for 3GB, not much changed until 2009.

In 2009 capped ADSL prices started to plummet – first with Telkom upping their 3GB cap to 5GB, and then with Afrihost surprising the market with its R29 per GB ADSL products.

Since 2009 there were regular price cuts, which accelerated over the last two years. Prices of less than R5 per GB are now commonplace, with the lowest rates dipping below R2 per GB.

Capped ADSL prices from 2002 to 2014

The following graph gives a visual illustration of the per-GB price of capped ADSL products since the launch of ADSL in 2002.

Capped ADSL prices
Capped ADSL prices – 2002 to 2014

Graph explained:

  1. Telkom launched ADSL in August 2002, with a 3GB ADSL account priced at R219 per month.
  2. Telkom increased the price of a 3GB ADSL account to R249 per month.
  3. Telkom reduced the price of a 3GB ADSL account to R239 per month.
  4. Telkom increases the usage limit to 5GB for R239.
  5. Afrihost launches its R29 per GB ADSL products in September 2009.
  6. Telkom increases its monthly ADSL usage limit to 9GB for R239.
  7. Telkom offers its customers 16GB at R239.
  8. Telkom increases the monthly usage limit to 20GB for R239.
  9. Vox Telecom launches its Fatpipe capped ADSL products at less than R5 per GB.
  10. Numerous capped ADSL price cuts follow, including the following:

Honorary mention

In February 2005 the Internet service provider Dotco surprised the market when it launched its “All You Can Eat” Internet account, offering 30GB of data for R680 per month.

Many ISPs followed suit, which culminated in Web Africa launching a 30GB account to MyBroadband users for R199 per month.

This promotion was short lived, and within a year these 30GB accounts were terminated and South African ADSL users had to get used to far lower usage limits once again.

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The long walk to R2 per GB