How to save money on your cellphone bill

Cellphone bill optimisation firm Tariffic has announced that it will release an index this coming Monday (23 February 2015) which ranks South Africa’s mobile network operators by how well-priced their post-paid services are .

Later in the year, Tariffic plans to launch a web portal for consumers that will recommend the cheapest contract packages based on your average monthly usage.

News of Tariffic’s plans to launch a consumer service that complements its existing enterprise offering first emerged towards the end of 2014.

Tariffic told MyBroadband at the time that it expects to launch its consumer website during the first quarter of 2015.

Want a cheaper cellular bill? Don’t use Vodacom: Tariffic

Giving a taste of what its index will show, Tariffic revealed that since the start of 2015, Vodacom has not come up as the top network in any of its optimisations.

However, when Tariffic makes recommendations, it shows contract packages from all of South Africa’s mobile network operators so that subscribers can select the best deal from whichever network they prefer.

In making these recommendations, the optimisation service said it found it interesting that for Vodacom users, the voice-centric Talk packages were recommended as the best contract option 50% of the time.

Smart packages came up tops 34% of the time, with Red packages being recommended 16% of the time.

To better understand why more users were seeing recommendations for Talk packages instead of Vodacom’s Smart contracts, Tariffic compared Talk 500s to its closes equivalent, Smart XL.

Tariffic explained that there are currently over 12,000 different combinations of contracts and bundles in the market, so it had to try and simplify the analysis by just comparing these two.

Case study: Vodacom Talk 500 vs Smart XL

If you don’t use any data, the Talk package is always cheaper when using between 468 and 700 minutes per month.

When data usage is factored in, the Talk package is cheaper when voice usage is as above, and data usage is either less than 200MB, or over 1900MB.

The cost difference between Smart XL and Talk 500 diminishes somewhat when data is included, but Tariffic said that the Talk package is definitely cheaper for very low or very high data usage.

“Many people don’t need the 800MB of data that comes with a Smart XL contract,” Tariffic said.

It added that the flexibility offered by taking a simple contract package that focuses on one element — such as Talk’s voice minutes — and then bolting on bundles offers subscribers more flexibility.

“The more flexibility the user has — with adding appropriate bundles, or with cheap OOB rates — the better the user will be able to structure their cell phone package, and the cheaper it will be,” Tariffic said.

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How to save money on your cellphone bill