Best cellphone contracts in South Africa

Tarifica, a US company that tracks telecoms prices, has put together a ranking of cellphone contracts in South Africa to show which package offers subscribers the best value.

What makes Tarifica’s index particularly interesting is that while it does differentiate between contracts that include a phone and those that don’t, it doesn’t limit the comparison to within price brackets.

Instead, Tarifica calculates a score for every plan, which can be used to compare plans across different price ranges.

Because mobile operators tend to publish new deals every month, Tarifica recalculates its scores monthly to ensure it remains current.

This means that the rankings shown in the below table should only be considered as accurate for the month of August, or for as long as the deals used in the comparison remain unchanged.

Plans without phones
Overall rank Category Plan Name Tarifica Score
1 Vodacom Smart S (SIM Card) – Promotion 100
2 Telkom Mobile Completely Unlimited (Sim Only) 97
3 Cell C SmartChat 8 GB (12 months) – SIM Only 63
4 MTN MTN Sky (Without Device) – Promotion 56
5 Virgin Mobile BYO Topup 99 (12 months) 29
Plans with phones
Overall rank Category Plan Name Tarifica Score
1 Telkom Mobile Completely Unlimited (Samsung Galaxy S5) 100
2 MTN MTN Sky (Samsung Galaxy S5) – Promotion 63
3 Vodacom Red VIP (with Samsung Galaxy S5) 52
4 Cell C Infinity Select (Samsung Galaxy S5) 43
5 Virgin Mobile Smartphone Contract 399 (LG G2) 38

“We have a database that tracks 315 mobile network operators and mobile virtual network operators in 80 different countries,” a Tarifica spokesperson told MyBroadband.

This data is plugged into an algorithm which was built to distill the consumer-friendliness of a contract plan to a single number.

Tarifica’s model was built by a team of analysts and shown to a number of operators and regulators around the world for feedback.

The algorithm takes all of the following factors into consideration, the company’s spokesperson said:

  • All the costs (amortised over 2 years), including activation fees and other once-off costs
  • Included value (i.e. data, voice, SMS)
  • Level of service, taking into account network speed and coverage
  • Included value-added services
  • All other features included with the contract

In addition to the overall rankings, Tarifica also provided charts of plans per price bracket.

The following table shows how South Africa’s operators compare in different price changes.

Plans without phones
Monthly rental fee of R100 or less
Rank Category Plan Name Tarifica Score
1 Vodacom uChoose Flexi 50 (SIM Card) – Promotion 77
2 Cell C SmartChat 1 GB (12 months) – SIM Only 48
3 Virgin Mobile BYO Topup 99 (12 months) 29
4 MTN My MTN Choice 50 – Use your own – 6 months – Promotion 21
N/A Telkom Mobile No postpaid plans offered in this category N/A
Monthly rental fee of R101 to R300
Rank Category Plan Name Tarifica Score
1 Vodacom Smart S (SIM Card) – Promotion 100
2 Cell C SmartChat 3 GB (12 months) – SIM Only 58
3 Telkom Mobile SmartPlan 50 (Sim Only) 54
4 Virgin Mobile BYO Topup 149 (Month to Month) 29
5 MTN My MTN Choice 200 – Use your own – 6 months – Promotion 19
Monthly rental fee of R301 to R500
Rank Category Plan Name Tarifica Score
1 Cell C SmartChat 6 GB (12 months) – SIM Only 63
2 Telkom Mobile SmartPlan 250 (Sim Only) 56
3 Vodacom Smart L (SIM Card) – Promotion 55
4 Virgin Mobile BYO Topup 399 (Month to Month) 29
5 MTN My MTN Choice 350 – Use your own – 6 months – Promotion 14
Monthly rental fee of R501 to R1000
Rank Category Plan Name Tarifica Score
1 Cell C SmartChat 8 GB (12 months) – SIM Only 63
2 Telkom Mobile SmartPlan 500 (Sim Only) 47
3 Vodacom uChoose Smart XL (SIM Card) – Promotion 42
4 MTN My MTN Choice 500 – Use your own – 6 months – Promotion 16
N/A Virgin Mobile No postpaid plans offered in this category N/A
Monthly rental fee of R1001 and over
Rank Category Plan Name Tarifica Score
1 Telkom Mobile Completely Unlimited (Sim Only) 97
2 MTN MTN Sky (Without Device) – Promotion 56
3 Vodacom Red VIP (SIM Card) – Promotion 53
N/A Cell C No postpaid plans offered in this category N/A
N/A Virgin Mobile No postpaid plans offered in this category N/A

The next table shows how South Africa’s mobile operators compare with respect to contracts that include a device.

Plans with phones
Monthly rental fee of R100 or less
Rank Category Plan Name Tarifica Score
1 Virgin Mobile Smartphone Contract 79 (Nokia Asha 210) 25
2 Vodacom uChoose Flexi 50 (Samsung Galaxy Pocket Plus) 2
N/A Cell C Plans were scored with higher end devices if available N/A
N/A MTN Plans were scored with higher end devices if available N/A
N/A Telkom Mobile Plans were scored with higher end devices if available N/A
Monthly rental fee of R101 to R300
Rank Category Plan Name Tarifica Score
1 Telkom Mobile SmartSaver 50 (Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini) 77
2 Cell C Hi5 (Samsung Galaxy SIII Mini Smartphone) 20
3 Virgin Mobile Smartphone Topup 129 (Samsung Galaxy Fame Lite) 16
4 MTN My MTN Choice 50 (Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini) – Promotion 8
5 Vodacom uChoose Flexi 150 (Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini) 2
Monthly rental fee of R301 to R500
Rank Category Plan Name Tarifica Score
1 Cell C Red Bull Mobile 200 (Samsung Galaxy S5) 41
2 Virgin Mobile Smartphone Contract 399 (LG G2) 38
3 Telkom Mobile SmartPlan 50 (Samsung Galaxy S5) – With Device 35
4 Vodacom Smart S (with Samsung Galaxy S5) 17
5 MTN My MTN Choice 100 (Samsung Galaxy S5) – Promotion 13
Monthly rental fee of R501 to R1000
Rank Category Plan Name Tarifica Score
1 Telkom Mobile SmartPlan 100 (Samsung Galaxy S5) 58
2 Cell C SmartChat 3GB (Samsung Galaxy S5) 38
3 Vodacom Red Advantage (with Samsung Galaxy S5) 29
4 Virgin Mobile Smartphone Contract 569 (Samsung Galaxy Note 3) 17
5 MTN My MTN Choice 200 (Samsung Galaxy S5) – Promotion 11
Monthly rental fee of R1001 and over
Rank Category Plan Name Tarifica Score
1 Telkom Mobile Completely Unlimited (Samsung Galaxy S5) 100
2 MTN MTN Sky (Samsung Galaxy S5) – Promotion 63
3 Vodacom Red VIP (with Samsung Galaxy S5) 52
4 Cell C Infinity Select (Samsung Galaxy S5) 43
N/A Virgin Mobile No postpaid plans offered in this category N/A

Scores are not absolute. Tarifica calculates a rating out of 100 for each contract relative to the other deals in the market.

The factors used to calculate the scores are also not all weighted equally.

Tarifica’s spokesperson explained that features easily substituted by so-called “over-the-top” services were weighted significantly less than others.

SMS, for example, is easily substituted by instant messaging applications, so the number of text messages included on a contract doesn’t impact the Tarifica score as much as data or voice does.

“The two most critical factors in a plan is its price and included data,” Tarifica said.

One of the winning plans this month — a Vodacom contract — had a promotion for an extra 1GB of data.

Weightings for the various features were chosen with the input from a survey conducted on consumers, Tarifica said, particularly those with heavy mobile usage habits.

The perceived value of the contract is further weighted according to an estimate of the service levels that can be expected from a network, such as download speeds and coverage.

Asked how they measure download speeds, Tarifica said that it uses a few different sources to get an average download speed from the network.

It also looks at the number of base stations as an indicator of network coverage.

“We’re very cognisant of Cell C’s relatively slow download speeds and smaller coverage,” Tarifica said, adding that the network’s deals were penalised accordingly.

Queried about MTN’s relatively poor showing in their charts, Tarifica said the low data volumes on the majority of MTN’s plans negatively impacted their ranking.

Tarifica said that even though MTN’s service level scores may be higher, it is hard to take advantage of their network.

Two more tables are embedded below which show Tarifica’s overall rankings for contracts with and without phones in South Africa.

The first table shows the Tarifica charts for August 2014 for contract plans without phones.

Plans without phones
Operator Plan Name Tarifica Scores
Vodacom Smart S (SIM Card) – Promotion 100
Telkom Mobile Completely Unlimited (Sim Only) 97
Vodacom uChoose Smart S (SIM Card) – Promotion 88
Vodacom Smart M (SIM Card) – Promotion 79
Vodacom uChoose Flexi 50 (SIM Card) – Promotion 77
Vodacom uChoose Smart M (SIM Card) – Promotion 69
Cell C SmartChat 8 GB (12 months) – SIM Only 63
Cell C SmartChat 8 GB (18 months) – SIM Only 63
Cell C SmartChat 8 GB (6 months) – SIM Only 63
Cell C SmartChat 8 GB (Month to Month) – SIM only 63
Cell C SmartChat 6 GB (12 months) – SIM Only 63
Cell C SmartChat 6 GB (18 months) – SIM Only 63
Cell C SmartChat 6 GB (6 months) – SIM Only 63
Cell C SmartChat 6 GB (Month to Month) – SIM only 63
Cell C SmartChat 3 GB (12 months) – SIM Only 58
Cell C SmartChat 3 GB (18 months) – SIM Only 58
Cell C SmartChat 3 GB (6 months) – SIM Only 58
Cell C SmartChat 3 GB (Month to Month) – SIM only 58
Cell C Red Bull Mobile 200 (24 Month) – SIM only 57
Telkom Mobile SmartPlan 250 (Sim Only) 56
MTN MTN Sky (Without Device) – Promotion 56
Vodacom Smart L (SIM Card) – Promotion 55
Telkom Mobile SmartPlan 50 (Sim Only) 54
Vodacom Red VIP (SIM Card) – Promotion 53
Vodacom uChoose Flexi 150 (SIM Card) – Promotion 52
Telkom Mobile SmartSaver 250 (Sim Only) 51
Telkom Mobile SmartPlan 100 (Sim Only) 51
Telkom Mobile SmartPlan 150 (Sim Only) 50
MTN MTN Sky (Without Device) 50
Telkom Mobile SmartPlan 375 (Sim Only) 49
Cell C SmartChat 1 GB (12 months) – SIM Only 48
Cell C SmartChat 1 GB (18 months) – SIM Only 48
Cell C SmartChat 1 GB (6 months) – SIM Only 48
Cell C SmartChat 1 GB (Month to Month) – SIM Only 48
Vodacom uChoose Smart L (SIM Card) – Promotion 48
Cell C SmartChat 2 GB (12 months) – SIM Only 48
Cell C SmartChat 2 GB (18 months) – SIM Only 48
Cell C SmartChat 2 GB (6 months) – SIM Only 48
Cell C SmartChat 2 GB (Month to Month) – SIM only 48
Vodacom uChoose Flexi 350 (SIM Card) – Promotion 47
Telkom Mobile SmartPlan 500 (Sim Only) 47
Telkom Mobile SmartSaver 150 (Sim Only) 45
Telkom Mobile SmartSaver 375 (Sim Only) 45
Telkom Mobile SmartSaver 100 (Sim Only) 45
Telkom Mobile SmartSaver 500 (Sim Only) 44
Cell C Infinity Select (24 Month) – SIM only 43
Vodacom uChoose Flexi 200 (SIM Card) – Promotion 42
Vodacom uChoose Smart XL (SIM Card) – Promotion 42
Vodacom Red Advantage (SIM Card) – Promotion 41
Vodacom uChoose Flexi 100 (SIM Card) – Promotion 40
Vodacom Red VIP (SIM Card) 38
Vodacom Red Premium (SIM Card) – Promotion 37
Vodacom uChoose Flexi 500 (SIM Card) – Promotion 36
Telkom Mobile SmartSaver 50 (Sim Only) 35
MTN MTN Prestige Plus – Use your own 32
Cell C 99C Straight Up Infinity (24 Month) – SIM only 29
Virgin Mobile BYO Topup 99 (12 months) 29
Virgin Mobile BYO Topup 149 (Month to Month) 29
Virgin Mobile BYO Topup 199 (Month to Month) 29
Virgin Mobile BYO Topup 299 (Month to Month) 29
Virgin Mobile BYO Topup 399 (Month to Month) 29
Virgin Mobile BYO Topup 499 (Month to Month) 29
Virgin Mobile BYO Topup 199 (12 Months) 29
Virgin Mobile BYO Topup 299 (12 Months) 29
Virgin Mobile BYO Topup 399 (12 Months) 29
Virgin Mobile BYO Topup 499 (12 Months) 29
Vodacom Smart XL (SIM Card) – Promotion 26
Virgin Mobile BYO Topup 29 (Month to Month) 25
Vodacom uChoose Flexi 750 (SIM Card) – Promotion 25
Virgin Mobile BYO Topup 99 (Month to Month) 24
Vodacom Red Premium (SIM Card) 22
MTN My MTN Choice 50 – Use your own – 6 months – Promotion 21
MTN My MTN Choice 50 – Use your own – 12 months – Promotion 21
MTN My MTN Choice 50 – Use your own – 18 months – Promotion 21
MTN My MTN Choice 50 – Use your own – 24 months – Promotion 21
Vodacom Red Advantage (SIM Card) 21
Virgin Mobile BYO Topup 49 (Month to Month) 20
Vodacom Smart XL (SIM Card) 20
MTN My MTN Choice 200 – Use your own – 6 months – Promotion 19
MTN My MTN Choice 200 – Use your own – 12 months – Promotion 19
MTN My MTN Choice 200 – Use your own – 18 months – Promotion 19
MTN My MTN Choice 200 – Use your own – 24 months – Promotion 19
Cell C Red Bull Mobile 100 (24 Month) – SIM only 19
Cell C HI5 (24 Month) – SIM Only 18
Vodacom uChoose Smart XL (SIM Card) 18
Vodacom Smart L (SIM Card) 17
Cell C 99C Straight Up 800 (12 months) – SIM Only 17
Cell C 99C Straight up 800 (18 months) – SIM Only 17
Cell C 99C Straight up 800 (6 months) – SIM Only 17
Cell C 99C Straight Up 800 (Month to Month) – SIM only 17
Cell C 99c Straight Up 800 Top Up (12 Months) – SIM Only 17
Cell C 99c Straight Up 800 Top Up (18 Months) – SIM Only 17
Cell C 99c Straight Up 800 Top Up (24 Months) – SIM Only 17
Cell C 99c Straight Up 800 Top Up (6 Months) – SIM Only 17
Cell C 99c Straight Up 800 Top Up (Month to Month) – SIM Only 17
Cell C 99C Straight up 400 (12 months) – SIM Only 17
Cell C 99C Straight up 400 (18 months) – SIM Only 17
Cell C 99C Straight up 400 (6 months) – SIM Only 17
Cell C 99C Straight up 400 (Month to Month) – SIM only 17
Cell C 99c Straight Up 400 Top Up (12 Months) – SIM Only 17
Cell C 99c Straight Up 400 Top Up (18 Months) – SIM Only 17
Cell C 99c Straight Up 400 Top Up (24 Months) – SIM Only 17
Cell C 99c Straight Up 400 Top Up (6 Months) – SIM Only 17
Cell C 99c Straight Up 400 Top Up (Month to Month) – SIM Only 17
Cell C 99C Straight up 200 (12 months) – SIM Only 17
Cell C 99C Straight up 200 (18 months) – SIM Only 17
Cell C 99C Straight up 200 (6 months) – SIM Only 17
Cell C 99C Straight up 200 (Month to Month) – SIM only 17
Cell C 99c Straight Up 200 Top Up (12 Months) – SIM Only 17
Cell C 99c Straight Up 200 Top Up (18 Months) – SIM Only 17
Cell C 99c Straight Up 200 Top Up (6 Months) – SIM Only 17
Cell C 99c Straight Up 200 Top Up (Month to Month) – SIM Only 17
Vodacom Smart M (SIM Card) 17
Vodacom Smart S (SIM Card) 16
Cell C 99C Straight up 100 (12 months) – SIM Only 16
Cell C 99C Straight up 100 (18 months) – SIM Only 16
Cell C 99C Straight up 100 (6 months) – SIM Only 16
Cell C 99C Straight up 100 (Month to Month) – SIM Only 16
Cell C 99c Straight Up 100 Top Up (12 Months) – SIM Only 16
Cell C 99c Straight Up 100 Top Up (18 Months) – SIM Only 16
Cell C 99c Straight Up 100 Top Up (6 Months) – SIM Only 16
Cell C 99c Straight Up 100 Top Up (Month to Month) – SIM Only 16
MTN My MTN Choice 500 – Use your own – 6 months – Promotion 16
MTN My MTN Choice 500 – Use your own – 12 months – Promotion 16
MTN My MTN Choice 500 – Use your own – 18 months – Promotion 16
MTN My MTN Choice 500 – Use your own – 24 months – Promotion 16
Cell C 99C Straight Up 50 (12 months) – SIM Only 16
Cell C 99C Straight Up 50 (18 months) – SIM Only 16
Cell C 99c Straight Up 50 (24 Months) – SIM Only 16
Cell C 99C Straight Up 50 (6 months) – SIM Only 16
Cell C 99C Straight Up 50 (Month to Month) – SIM only 16
Cell C 99C Straight up 50 Top Up (12 Months) – SIM only 16
Cell C 99C Straight up 50 Top Up (18 Months) – SIM only 16
Cell C 99C Straight up 50 Top Up (24 Months) – SIM only 16
Cell C 99C Straight up 50 Top Up (6 Months) – SIM only 16
Cell C 99C Straight up 50 Top Up (Month to Month) – SIM only 16
Vodacom uChoose Smart L (SIM Card) 16
Cell C ChatMore 400 (Month-to-Month SIM only) 15
Vodacom uChoose Smart M (SIM Card) 15
MTN My MTN Choice 100 – Use your own – 6 months – Promotion 15
MTN My MTN Choice 100 – Use your own – 12 months – Promotion 15
MTN My MTN Choice 100 – Use your own – 18 months – Promotion 15
MTN My MTN Choice 100 – Use your own – 24 months – Promotion 15
Vodacom uChoose Smart S (SIM Card) 15
Cell C ChatMore 200 (Month-to-Month SIM only) 15
Cell C 99C Straight up 30 (12 months) – SIM Only 15
Cell C 99C Straight up 30 (18 months) – SIM Only 15
Cell C 99c Straight Up 30 (24 Months) -SIM Only 15
Cell C 99C Straight up 30 (6 months) – SIM Only 15
Cell C 99C Straight up 30 (Month to Month) – SIM only 15
Cell C 99C Straight up 30 Top Up (12 Months) – SIM only 15
Cell C 99C Straight up 30 Top Up (18 Months) – SIM only 15
Cell C 99C Straight up 30 Top Up (24 Months) – SIM only 15
Cell C 99C Straight up 30 Top Up (6 Months) – SIM only 15
Cell C 99C Straight up 30 Top Up (Month to Month) – SIM only 15
MTN My MTN Choice 350 – Use your own – 6 months – Promotion 14
MTN My MTN Choice 350 – Use your own – 12 months – Promotion 14
MTN My MTN Choice 350 – Use your own – 18 months – Promotion 14
MTN My MTN Choice 350 – Use your own – 24 months – Promotion 14
MTN My MTN Choice 1000 – Use your own – 6 months – Promotion 12
MTN My MTN Choice 1000 – Use your own – 12 months – Promotion 12
MTN My MTN Choice 1000 – Use your own – 18 months – Promotion 12
MTN My MTN Choice 1000 – Use your own – 24 months – Promotion 12
MTN My MTN Choice 25 – Use your own – 6 months – Promotion 11
MTN My MTN Choice 25 – Use your own – 12 months – Promotion 11
MTN My MTN Choice 25 – Use your own – 18 months – Promotion 11
MTN My MTN Choice 25 – Use your own – 24 months – Promotion 11
MTN MTN AnyTime 50 (Postpaid) – Consumer – 6 months 7
MTN MTN AnyTime 50 (Postpaid) – Consumer – 12 months 7
MTN MTN AnyTime 50 (Postpaid) – Consumer – 18 months 7
MTN MTN AnyTime 50 (Postpaid) – Consumer – 24 months 7
MTN MTN AnyTime TopUp 50 – 6 months 7
MTN MTN AnyTime TopUp 50 – 12 months 7
MTN MTN AnyTime TopUp 50 – 18 months 7
MTN MTN AnyTime TopUp 50 – 24 months 7
MTN MTN Off Peak 50 – 6 months 7
MTN MTN Off Peak 50 – 12 months 7
MTN MTN Off Peak 50 – 18 months 7
MTN MTN Off Peak 50 – 24 months 7
MTN MTN Off Peak TopUp 50 – 6 months 7
MTN MTN Off Peak TopUp 50 – 12 months 7
MTN MTN Off Peak TopUp 50 – 18 months 7
MTN MTN Off Peak TopUp 50 – 24 months 7
MTN MTN AnyTime 100 (Postpaid) – Consumer – 6 months 6
MTN MTN AnyTime 100 (Postpaid) – Consumer – 12 months 6
MTN MTN AnyTime 100 (Postpaid) – Consumer – 18 months 6
MTN MTN AnyTime 100 (Postpaid) – Consumer – 24 months 6
MTN MTN AnyTime TopUp 100 – 6 months 6
MTN MTN AnyTime TopUp 100 – 12 months 6
MTN MTN AnyTime TopUp 100 – 18 months 6
MTN MTN AnyTime TopUp 100 – 24 months 6
MTN MTN Off Peak 100 – 6 months 6
MTN MTN Off Peak 100 – 12 months 6
MTN MTN Off Peak 100 – 18 months 6
MTN MTN Off Peak 100 – 24 months 6
MTN MTN Off Peak TopUp 100 – 6 months 6
MTN MTN Off Peak TopUp 100 – 12 months 6
MTN MTN Off Peak TopUp 100 – 18 months 6
MTN MTN Off Peak TopUp 100 – 24 months 6
MTN MTN AnyTime 1500 (Postpaid) – Consumer – 6 months 6
MTN MTN AnyTime 1500 (Postpaid) – Consumer – 12 months 6
MTN MTN AnyTime 1500 (Postpaid) – Consumer – 18 months 6
MTN MTN AnyTime 1500 (Postpaid) – Consumer – 24 months 6
MTN MTN AnyTime TopUp 1500 – 6 months 6
MTN MTN AnyTime TopUp 1500 – 12 months 6
MTN MTN AnyTime TopUp 1500 – 18 months 6
MTN MTN AnyTime TopUp 1500 – 24 months 6
MTN MTN AnyTime 750 (Postpaid) – Consumer – 6 months 6
MTN MTN AnyTime 750 (Postpaid) – Consumer – 12 months 6
MTN MTN AnyTime 750 (Postpaid) – Consumer – 18 months 6
MTN MTN AnyTime 750 (Postpaid) – Consumer – 24 months 6
MTN MTN AnyTime TopUp 750 – 6 months 6
MTN MTN AnyTime TopUp 750 – 12 months 6
MTN MTN AnyTime TopUp 750 – 18 months 6
MTN MTN AnyTime TopUp 750 – 24 months 6
MTN MTN AnyTime 350 (Postpaid) – Consumer – 6 months 6
MTN MTN AnyTime 350 (Postpaid) – Consumer – 12 months 6
MTN MTN AnyTime 350 (Postpaid) – Consumer – 18 months 6
MTN MTN AnyTime 350 (Postpaid) – Consumer – 24 months 6
MTN MTN AnyTime TopUp 350 – 6 months 6
MTN MTN AnyTime TopUp 350 – 12 months 6
MTN MTN AnyTime TopUp 350 – 18 months 6
MTN MTN AnyTime TopUp 350 – 24 months 6
MTN MTN AnyTime 500 (Postpaid) – Consumer – 6 months 6
MTN MTN AnyTime 500 (Postpaid) – Consumer – 12 months 6
MTN MTN AnyTime 500 (Postpaid) – Consumer – 18 months 6
MTN MTN AnyTime 500 (Postpaid) – Consumer – 24 months 6
MTN MTN AnyTime TopUp 500 – 6 months 6
MTN MTN AnyTime TopUp 500 – 12 months 6
MTN MTN AnyTime TopUp 500 – 18 months 6
MTN MTN AnyTime TopUp 500 – 24 months 6
MTN MTN AnyTime 200 (Postpaid) – Consumer – 6 months 6
MTN MTN AnyTime 200 (Postpaid) – Consumer – 12 months 6
MTN MTN AnyTime 200 (Postpaid) – Consumer – 18 months 6
MTN MTN AnyTime 200 (Postpaid) – Consumer – 24 months 6
MTN MTN AnyTime TopUp 200 – 6 months 6
MTN MTN AnyTime TopUp 200 – 12 months 6
MTN MTN AnyTime TopUp 200 – 18 months 6
MTN MTN AnyTime TopUp 200 – 24 months 6
MTN MTN Off Peak 200 – 6 months 6
MTN MTN Off Peak 200 – 12 months 6
MTN MTN Off Peak 200 – 18 months 6
MTN MTN Off Peak 200 – 24 months 6
MTN MTN Off Peak TopUp 200 – 6 months 6
MTN MTN Off Peak TopUp 200 – 12 months 6
MTN MTN Off Peak TopUp 200 – 18 months 6
MTN MTN Off Peak TopUp 200 – 24 months 6
MTN MTN AnyTime 1200 (Postpaid) – Consumer – 6 months 6
MTN MTN AnyTime 1200 (Postpaid) – Consumer – 12 months 6
MTN MTN AnyTime 1200 (Postpaid) – Consumer – 18 months 6
MTN MTN AnyTime 1200 (Postpaid) – Consumer – 24 months 6
MTN MTN AnyTime TopUp 1200 – 6 months 6
MTN MTN AnyTime TopUp 1200 – 12 months 6
MTN MTN AnyTime TopUp 1200 – 18 months 6
MTN MTN AnyTime TopUp 1200 – 24 months 6
MTN My MTN Choice 1000 – Use your own – 6 months 6
MTN My MTN Choice 1000 – Use your own – 12 months 6
MTN My MTN Choice 1000 – Use your own – 18 months 6
MTN My MTN Choice 1000 – Use your own – 24 months 6
MTN My MTN Choice 500 – Use your own – 6 months 5
MTN My MTN Choice 500 – Use your own – 12 months 5
MTN My MTN Choice 500 – Use your own – 18 months 5
MTN My MTN Choice 500 – Use your own – 24 months 5
MTN My MTN Choice 350 – Use your own – 6 months 5
MTN My MTN Choice 350 – Use your own – 12 months 5
MTN My MTN Choice 350 – Use your own – 18 months 5
MTN My MTN Choice 350 – Use your own – 24 months 5
MTN My MTN Choice 200 – Use your own – 6 months 4
MTN My MTN Choice 200 – Use your own – 12 months 4
MTN My MTN Choice 200 – Use your own – 18 months 4
MTN My MTN Choice 200 – Use your own – 24 months 4
MTN My MTN Choice 100 – Use your own – 6 months 4
MTN My MTN Choice 100 – Use your own – 12 months 4
MTN My MTN Choice 100 – Use your own – 18 months 4
MTN My MTN Choice 100 – Use your own – 24 months 4
MTN My MTN Choice 50 – Use your own – 6 months 4
MTN My MTN Choice 50 – Use your own – 12 months 4
MTN My MTN Choice 50 – Use your own – 18 months 4
MTN My MTN Choice 50 – Use your own – 24 months 4
Vodacom uChoose Flexi 750 (SIM Card) 4
MTN My MTN Choice 25 – Use your own – 6 months 4
MTN My MTN Choice 25 – Use your own – 12 months 4
MTN My MTN Choice 25 – Use your own – 18 months 4
MTN My MTN Choice 25 – Use your own – 24 months 4
Vodacom uChoose Flexi 500 (SIM Card) 4
Vodacom uChoose Flexi 200 (SIM Card) 3
Vodacom uChoose Flexi 350 (SIM Card) 3
Vodacom uChoose Flexi 50 (SIM Card) 3
Vodacom uChoose Flexi 100 (SIM Card) 3
Vodacom uChoose Flexi 150 (SIM Card) 3

Tarifica’s ranking of cellular contracts in South Africa which include mobile phones is shown in the table below.

Plans with phones
Operator Plan Name Tarifica Scores
Telkom Mobile Completely Unlimited (Samsung Galaxy S5) 100
Telkom Mobile SmartSaver 50 (Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini) 77
MTN MTN Sky (Samsung Galaxy S5) – Promotion 63
MTN MTN Sky (Samsung Galaxy S5) 59
Telkom Mobile SmartPlan 100 (Samsung Galaxy S5) 58
Vodacom Red VIP (with Samsung Galaxy S5) 52
Cell C Infinity Select (Samsung Galaxy S5) 43
MTN MTN Prestige Plus (Samsung Pocket Neo) – Promotion 42
Cell C Red Bull Mobile 200 (Samsung GALAXY S5) 41
Virgin Mobile Smartphone Contract 399 (LG G2) 38
Cell C SmartChat 3GB (Samsung GALAXY S5) 38
Telkom Mobile SmartPlan 50 (Samsung Galaxy S5) – With Device 35
Vodacom Red Premium (with Samsung Galaxy S5) 31
Vodacom Red Advantage (with Samsung Galaxy S5) 29
Vodacom Smart XL (with Samsung Galaxy S5) 26
Virgin Mobile Smartphone Contract 79 (Nokia Asha 210) 25
Vodacom uChoose Smart XL (with Samsung Galaxy S5) 24
Vodacom Smart L (with Samsung Galaxy S5) 22
Vodacom uChoose Smart L (with Samsung Galaxy S5) 21
Virgin Mobile Smartphone Contract 99 (Samsung Fame Lite) 20
Virgin Mobile Smartphone Topup 99 (Nokia Asha 210) 20
Cell C Hi5 (Samsung Galaxy SIII Mini Smartphone) 20
Vodacom Smart M (with Samsung Galaxy S5) 19
Vodacom uChoose Smart M (with Samsung Galaxy S5) 18
Virgin Mobile Smartphone Contract 469 (Samsung Galaxy S4) 18
Cell C 99c Straight Up 800 (Samsung GALAXY S5) 18
Vodacom Smart S (with Samsung Galaxy S5) 17
Virgin Mobile Smartphone Contract 569 (Nokia Lumia 1020) 17
Virgin Mobile Smartphone Contract 569 (Samsung Galaxy Note 3) 17
Virgin Mobile Smartphone Contract 299 (LG G2) 16
Vodacom uChoose Smart S (with Samsung Galaxy S5) 16
Virgin Mobile Smartphone Topup 129 (Samsung Galaxy Fame Lite) 16
Cell C SmartChat 1GB (Samsung GALAXY S5) 15
Virgin Mobile Smartphone Contract 389 (Samsung Galaxy S4) 15
Cell C 99c Straight Up 400 (Samsung GALAXY S5) 14
Virgin Mobile Smartphone Topup 269 (Samsung Galaxy Grand Neo) 13
MTN My MTN Choice 100 (Samsung Galaxy S5) – Promotion 13
Cell C 99c Straight Up 100 Top Up (Samsung Galaxy SIII Mini) 12
Virgin Mobile Smartphone Contract 149 (Nokia Lumia 520) 12
MTN My MTN Choice 200 (Samsung Galaxy S5) – Promotion 11
Virgin Mobile Smartphone Contract 269 (Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini) 11
MTN My MTN Choice 350 (Samsung Galaxy S5) – Promotion 11
Cell C ChatMore 400 (Samsung GALAXY S5) 11
Virgin Mobile Smartphone Topup 199 (Nokia Lumia 520) 10
Virgin Mobile Smartphone Contract 469 (Nokia Lumia 1020) 10
Virgin Mobile Smartphone Contract 469 (Samsung Galaxy Note 3) 10
Virgin Mobile Smartphone Contract 249 (Samsung Galaxy Grand Neo) 10
Cell C 99c Straight Up 200 (Samsung GALAXY S5) 9
Cell C 99c Straight Up 200 Top Up (Samsung Galaxy SIII Mini) 9
Virgin Mobile Smartphone Topup 399 (Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini) 9
MTN My MTN Choice 50 (Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini) – Promotion 8
Virgin Mobile Smartphone Topup 599 (Samsung Galaxy S4) 8
Virgin Mobile Smartphone Topup 669 (Nokia Lumia 1020) 7
Cell C ChatMore 200 (Samsung GALAXY S5) 7
Cell C 99c Straight Up 100 (Samsung GALAXY S5) 5
Vodacom uChoose Flexi 200 (Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini) 3
Vodacom uChoose Flexi 50 (Samsung Galaxy Pocket Plus) 2
Vodacom uChoose Flexi 350 (with Samsung Galaxy S5) 2
Vodacom uChoose Flexi 150 (Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini) 2
Vodacom uChoose Flexi 100 (Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini) 2
Cell C Straight Up Standard (Samsung GALAXY S5) 0

Plans for the future

Asked about their future plans for the Tarifica index, the spokesperson said they were considering including a bonus for plans with shorter contract lengths.

“Currently, all plans are set to a two-year time frame to give an even base for comparison,” Tarifica said. “However, we feel that the current 2-year basis for the model still accurately reflects the consumer value of the core included features of plans.”

Tarifica is also developing a model to compare the pre-paid options available from mobile operators around the world.

Their analysts have built the model and are currently soliciting feedback from industry and regulators.

It will also be possible to compare plans across countries in future, Tarifica said.

This would require that their algorithm be run across the contracts in all of the countries that form part of the comparison, with adjustments for purchasing power parity to level the playing field.

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