Vodacom vs MTN Uncapped fixed-LTE speeds and prices

MTN offers better speeds on most of its uncapped fixed-LTE packages, but Vodacom has less stringent fair usage policies (FUPs) for its comparable plans.

Internet service provider (ISP) Axxess launched uncapped fixed-LTE packages running on the Vodacom network with prices ranging from R299 to R699 towards the end of February 2024.

At the time these products became available, Vodacom did not offer any true uncapped packages directly.

Since February 2023, Vodacom’s own Home Internet packages, some of which were previously uncapped, have all been “hard-locked” after a certain amount of data is consumed (i.e. capped).

The operator kept calling the packages uncapped, arguing it was highly unlikely that customers would hit these hard-lock limits within a month of usage.

Although soft-caps are not unusual for fixed-LTE or fixed-5G package, being necessary to manage limited network resources, they still allow uncapped consumption at a reduced speed.

Following reports from consumer journalists Wendy Knowler and MyBroadband, Vodacom discontinued its uncapped fixed-LTE and fixed-5G products.

That is, until Axxess launched uncapped fixed-LTE packages on Vodacom’s network.

MyBroadband compared the products available from South Africa’s two biggest mobile networks to see how they stacked up.

A bit of a tit-for-tat

The entry-level packages from both operators are identical in terms of speeds, fair usage policies (FUPs), and pricing.

Both boast up to 20Mbps speeds, allow for 50GB of consumption in a month before throttling speeds down to 2Mbps, and are priced at R299 per month.

MTN’s next most affordable package provides speeds of up to 50Mbps, throttled down to 2Mbps after the first 100GB of consumption, for R349 per month.

Vodacom’s second-cheapest offer only boasts speeds of up to 30Mbps but has a slightly better FUP, allowing for 150GB of data consumption before speeds are throttled to 2Mbps. However, it is R50 more expensive than MTN’s 50Mbps package.

To get the same 50Mbps speed on Vodacom, you have to pay R499 per month, R150 more than when using MTN.

However, there is a big upside in terms of the FUP with a 300GB allowance before throttling down to 2Mbps.

For those in need of more speed, MTN offers three faster packages, while Vodacom only boasts one additional top-end package.

MTN has a 100Mbps package selling for R50 more than Vodacom’s 50Mbps offering. It allows customers to consume up to 400GB per month before being throttled down to 2Mbps.

Doubling that to 200Mbps will cost R200 more, but provides a substantially less stringent FUP of 650GB before throttling.

The remaining packages are best-effort services with no speed limiting, which means the maximum potential speed of the network, as determined by coverage strength and hardware, will apply.

These “Pro” packages are priced at R699 from Vodacom and R779 from MTN.

The former has an FUP of 600GB before throttling speeds to 1Mbps, while the latter allows 1TB of monthly consumption before dropping speeds to 1Mbps.

Regarding what speeds to expect on these services, Axxess says customers using one of its recommended routers can be “pretty sure” of speeds of up to 150Mbps.

The table below compares the speeds, FUPs, and prices of Vodacom and MTN Fixed-LTE uncapped packages available from Axxess.

Axxess Fixed-LTE uncapped packages
Network  “Up to” speeds FUP Price
MTN 20Mbps After first 50GB: Throttled to 2Mbps R299
Vodacom 20Mbps After first 50GB: Throttled to 2Mbps R299
MTN 50Mbps After first 100GB: Throttled to 2Mbps R349
Vodacom 30Mbps After first 150GB: Throttled to 2Mbps R399
Vodacom 50Mbps After first 300GB: Throttled to 2Mbps R499
MTN 100Mbps After first 400GB: Throttled to 2Mbps R549
Vodacom No speed limit (best-effort) After first 600GB: Throttled to 1Mbps R699
MTN 200Mbps After first 650GB: Throttled to 2Mbps R749
MTN No speed limit (best-effort) After first 1TB: Throttled to 1 Mbps R779

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Vodacom vs MTN Uncapped fixed-LTE speeds and prices