Prices from 2003 to 2013: Broadband vs DStv vs Petrol vs Electricity

Fixed line and mobile broadband prices have plummeted over the last decade, with consumers getting higher speeds and more data at a fraction of the cost than what they paid in 2003.

In 2003 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).

Fast forward ten years, and South Africans can get a 1Mbps ADSL service with a 5GB soft cap for a total monthly cost of R367.37.

Mobile broadband prices plummeted even more than ADSL over the last ten years.

In 2003 a 10MB data bundle from Vodacom cost R200 (hence R20 per MB). Today users can buy a 2GB data bundle from the same company for R99 (5c per MB).

The increased value for money in the broadband market was made possible by continued technology advances (providing more bandwidth at lower prices) and increased competition in the market.

Broadband versus other products

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.

Telkom ADSL
Service 2003 2013 Change
ADSL 512kbps/1Mbps (total cost) R967 R367 – 62%
Vodacom mobile broadband
Out of bundle (per MB) R45 R2 – 96%
MyMeg 10 R200 R9 – 95%
MultiChoice DStv
DStv Premium bouquet R360 R625 + 74%
Petrol
95-Octane Unleaded (Reef) R4.22 R13.08 + 210%
Electricity
Cost per kWh (average) R0.21 R0.61 + 190%

The following chart provides an overview of the price charges of the different products over the last 10 years.

Price change percentage from 2003 to 2013
Price change percentage from 2003 to 2013

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Prices from 2003 to 2013: Broadband vs DStv vs Petrol vs Electricity