Cell C hikes contract setup fees by 71%

Cell C quietly increased its SIM & connection fee by 71% from R114 to R195 between July and August 2014, but still remains cheaper than Vodacom and Telkom Mobile.

“SIM & connection” is charged to contract customers as a once-off setup fee by most mobile network operators, though many offer promotions that waive the fee (especially for new contract customers).

At R195, Cell C is significantly more expensive than it was before, but still comes in under Telkom, which charges R200, and the R202 levied by Vodacom.

MTN is currently offering free SIM & connection on all its contracts, and its terms & conditions do not appear to list any exceptions to this.

The table below summarises how various mobile network operators, virtual operators, and resellers compare when it comes to once-off setup charges.

Operator SIM & connection fee
Cell C R195
MTN R0
Vodacom R202
Telkom R200
Virtual operators / resellers SIM & connection fee
Virgin Mobile R0 / R121
Afrihost R0 / R149
Mweb R0 / R120

Virgin Mobile doesn’t charge a SIM & connection fee on contracts that exclude a device, but asks R121 on deals with a phone.

Afrihost’s once-off charge is not a SIM & connection fee, but rather a “delivery and RICA” charge. This charge is waived for packages greater than 500MB.

Like Afrihost, Mweb doesn’t charge a SIM & connection fee, but asks a R120 delivery fee. It currently has a promotion offering free delivery on its 2GB contract.

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Cell C hikes contract setup fees by 71%