Over the last year, South African mobile operators have slashed the price of their 4G and 5G fixed-wireless products, which now offer an affordable alternative to fibre and DSL.
Fibre and DSL remain the preferred options for uncapped, high bandwidth applications like Netflix streaming or large downloads.
However, there is a challenge — not all households and businesses can get fibre, and not everyone can afford uncapped broadband.
The good news is that advances in mobile network technologies have made fixed-wireless connectivity faster and more affordable.
Fixed-LTE speeds are now higher than ADSL, while 5G speeds exceed the performance of most fibre-to-the-home and fibre-to-the-business products.
On the back of network upgrades, Vodacom, MTN, Cell C, Telkom, and Rain have all launched fixed-wireless products.
Competition in the fixed-LTE market has led to a price war which has caused data prices to plummet to below R1 per gigabyte.
Rain and Telkom have also launched affordable uncapped products to serve bandwidth-hungry users.
Price cuts continued in 2021 with many promotional offers on fixed-LTE and 5G products.
Rain recently reduced the price of its unlimited home 5G standard product from R699 to R479 per month for the first three months.
It has also cut the price of its unlimited home 5G premium product from R999 to R699 per month for the first three months.
Cell C launched new Home Connecta LTE plans in November 2020 with prices starting at R59 for 5GB anytime data and 5GB after-hours data.
Cell C’s Home Connecta LTE service is offered over its own and MTN’s network depending on coverage.
This year Cell C launched a prepaid version of this product, Home Connecta Flexi, with prices that mirror the contract version.
Cell C said its Home Connecta products are aimed at delivering a broad range of competitively priced connectivity products to consumers.
“With speeds of up to 150Mbps in optimum network and coverage conditions, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better connection for your home,” Cell C said.
This month Telkom’s “Big Deal” is an LTE product that offers subscribers 40GB anytime data and 40GB after-hours data for R199 per month.
Best 4G and 5G deals in South Africa
With so many new 4G and 5G products launched over the last year, it raises the question — where consumers can get the best deals?
The table below provides an overview of the fixed-wireless products available in South Africa from major operators.
|5GB to 15GB|
|ISP||Anytime Data||After-Hours Data||Monthly Price|
|20GB to 50GB|
|60GB to 100GB|
|110GB to 2500GB|
|Rain 5G (standard)||Uncapped||—||R479*|
|Rain 5G (premium)||Uncapped||—||R699*|