Broadband prices: 2002 and 2012 compared

ADSL and mobile data prices have plunged over the last decade. The total cost of an ADSL service dropped by over 50% since it was launched in 2002 while mobile data costs decreased by 96% over the last 10 years.

In 2002 a basic 512 Kbps ADSL service cost residential customers R966.72 per month (R67.72 for analogue line rental, R680 for ADSL access and R219 for a 3GB data bundle). In comparison, the price for a 384kbps connection with 5GB of data is now priced at R358.97 (R219.00 + R139.97).

Even more significant price cuts are visible in the mobile data market. In 2002 a 10MB data bundle from Vodacom cost R200 (hence R20 per MB). Today users can buy a 1GB data bundle from the same company for R99 (10c per MB).

Broadband prices have seen price cuts of between 50% and 95% over the last decade. These price reductions were partly fuelled by lower international bandwidth prices made possible by SEACOM.

When compared with products such as petrol and food, broadband stands out as having bucked the trend of price increases.

The following table provides an overview of the price changes of a few products over the last 10 years.

Service 2002 2012 Change
Telkom ADSL
Consumer ADSL access (512kbps/1Mbps) R680 R289 -58%
Business ADSL access (512kbps/1Mbps) R800 R289 -64%
3GB of blended ADSL data R219 R59.4 -73%
Analogue line rental R68 R140 107%
Vodacom mobile data
Out of bundle R45 R2 -96%
MyMeg 10 R200 R9 -96%
MultiChoice pay-TV
DStv premium R349 R590 69%
Petrol R4.26 R11.77 176%
Big Mac
McDonald’s Big Mac burger R9.00 R20.95 133%

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Broadband prices: 2002 and 2012 compared