Mobile data price comparison: in-bundle vs OOB

Cell C recently informed many of its subscribers that it will be increasing its out-of-bundle data rates from 15c per Megabyte (MB) to 99c/MB on 1 May 2014.

The network still offers in-bundle data rates of 15c/MB and lower, but when the bundled data runs out, excess usage is now billed at 99c/MB where it previously cost 15c/MB.

As might be expected, the price hike has caused many unhappy customers. At 15c/MB, Cell C’s OOB rate used to be the cheapest available in South Africa.

To see how it compares now, the table below shows the lowest and highest OOB rates of the various operators across different product categories.

As can be seen, a 99c/MB out-of-bundle tariffs can be fairly competitive when it comes to data bundles, but as far as data contracts are concerned, Cell C now has the most expensive OOB rate in the country.

For the sake of interest, the table also compares the lowest and highest in-bundle rates available from Cell C, MTN, Telkom Mobile, and Vodacom.

Package range OOB data rates In-bundle rates (excl. night-only data)
Data contracts Lowest OOB data rate Highest OOB data rate Lowest in-bundle Highest in-bundle
Vodacom R0.44 R1.00 R0.05 R0.08
MTN R0.29 R0.38 R0.05 R0.10
Cell C R0.99 R0.99 R0.05 R0.08
Telkom Mobile R0.30 R0.30 R0.01 R0.60
Top-up data contracts Lowest OOB data rate Highest OOB data rate Lowest in-bundle Highest in-bundle
Vodacom R2.00 R2.00 R0.05 R0.10
MTN R0.19 R1.00 R0.06 R1.50
Cell C R0.99 R0.99 R0.05 R0.08
Telkom Mobile R1.00 R1.00 R0.02 R0.07
Contract data bundles Lowest OOB data rate Highest OOB data rate Lowest in-bundle Highest in-bundle
Vodacom R0.44 R1.00 R0.05 R0.10
My MTNChoice R1.00 R1.00 R0.06 R0.50
MTN Internet R0.19 R1.00 R0.12 R0.50
Cell C R0.99 R0.99 R0.10 R0.15
Telkom Mobile R1.00 R1.00 R0.015 (1.5c) R0.60
Prepaid data bundles Lowest OOB data rate Highest OOB data rate Lowest in-bundle Highest in-bundle
Vodacom R2.00 R2.00 R0.05 R0.60
MTN R0.19 R1.00 R0.12 R0.50
Cell C R0.99 R0.99 R0.02 R0.15
Telkom Mobile R0.29 R1.00 R0.015 (1.5c) R0.60
Voice contracts Lowest OOB data rate Highest OOB data rate
Vodacom uChoose, Smart, Red R1.00 R1.00
MTN MyChoice R1.00 R1.00
MTN AnyTime, Off Peak R2.00 R2.00
Cell C StraightUp, Hi5, Infinity, RBM R0.99 R0.99
Telkom Mobile SmartPlans, SmartSaver R1.00 R1.00

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Mobile data price comparison: in-bundle vs OOB