Several mobile data packages are available in South Africa for under R500 a month that let you stream many hours of Netflix content.
As the world’s biggest streaming service, Netflix offers thousands of popular movies and TV shows.
Starting at just R49 per month for a mobile plan or R99 for a basic package with streaming on larger devices, Netflix offers good value for money compared to South Africa’s most popular pay-TV provider, DStv.
Unfortunately, that cost does not include the copious amount of data Netflix can consume.
Because it streams video and audio, Netflix uses much more data than the typical browsing or social media session.
Although a fast, uncapped Internet connection is ideal, many South Africans cannot afford or don’t have access to such a package.
Fortunately, there are several mobile data bundles with large data allocations that could meet that demand.
To determine which packages would work, you must consider how much data you will consume on Netflix each month.
Netflix provides several quality options with the following average data usage:
- Basic quality — Up to 0.3GB per hour
- Medium quality — Up to 0.7GB per hour
- High quality — SD up to 1GB per hour, HD up to 3GB per hour, UHD up to 7GB per hour
Next, you will have to assess your typical streaming habits to figure out how many hours of Netflix you watch per month.
We’ve considered three types of streaming viewers with increasing levels of usage as a starting point:
- Light — Streams 2 hours each weekday, 8 hours on weekends = 72 hours over four weeks
- Medium — Streams 3 hours each weekday, 12 hours on weekends = 108 hours over four weeks
- Heavy — Streams 4 hours each weekday, 16 hours on weekends = 144 hours over four weeks
We then calculated how much data each user would consume on Netflix using the various quality settings. These figures are shown in the table below.
|Netflix data usage|
|Mobile data||Average data usage|
|Basic (0.3GB per hour)|
|Medium (0.7GB per hour)|
|High – SD (1GB per hour)|
|High – HD (3GB per hour)|
Using the figures from above, we compiled a list of suitable mobile data packages for streaming Netflix.
For added flexibility, we only looked at those that are available on a month-to-month or prepaid basis.
Assuming that all of your streaming will be done during peak hours, we’ve set a minimum of 50GB anytime data as a requirement for consideration.
We used the medium quality (0.7GB per hour) to measure the type of user that could choose a package.
We did not include Rain’s 4G packages in our comparison as these have severely throttled streaming resolutions.
The table below shows some of the best mobile data packages you can get for streaming Netflix.
|Mobile data packages for Netflix|
|Package||Type of user (Medium quality)||Anytime data||Night-time data||Price|
|Cell C Home Connecta Flexi 100GB||Light streamer||50GB||50GB||R199|
|MyMTN Home Capped 4G 100GB||Light to medium streamers||70GB||50GB||R199|
|MyMTN Home Capped 4G 150GB||Heavy streamers||125GB||75GB||R299|
|Axxess Telkom LTE 100GB||Light streamers||50GB||50GB||R299|
|Afrihost Telkom LTE 120GB||Light streamers||60GB||60GB||R319|
|Axxess Telkom LTE 140GB||Light to medium streamers||70GB||70GB||R399|
|Cell C Home Connecta Flexi 200GB||Heavy streamers||100GB||100GB||R389|
|Afrihost Telkom LTE 180GB||Medium to heavy streamers||90GB||90GB||R429|
|Rain 5G Basic||Heavy streamers||Uncapped||R499|
|MyMTN Home Uncapped 10Mbps||Heavy streamers||
|MyMTN Home Capped 4G 220GB||Heavy streamers||110GGB||110GB||R499|
|Axxess Telkom LTE||Medium to heavy streamers||90GB||90GB||R499|