Best and worst mobile contracts in South Africa

Research ICT Africa (RIA) has developed a new Postpaid Value Index (PVI), which measures the value a customer gets for their monthly cellphone subscription price in terms of bundled minutes, SMS, and data.

RIA analysed contract packages from Vodacom, MTN, Cell C, and Telkom Mobile, and calculated the average PVI on all contract offerings.

Where there was more than one product per category from an operator, the one with the highest PVI was selected.

Best and worst mobile contracts

The RIA report showed that Cell C offers the best value for money with the highest PVI in eight monthly subscription categories. Cell C also holds the contract with the highest PVI.

Cell C’s Infinity Select product scores a PVI of 21.07, and at R999 it is the cheapest unlimited voice and SMS package. It also comes with 10GB of data. The average PVI of all of Cell C’s contracts was 7.35 in Q1 2015.

Telkom Mobile contracts offer the second-best value in South Africa. The average PVI was 6.48 and its Unlimited product scored 15.04 on the index.

Vodacom’s PVI increases as monthly subscriptions increase, peaks in the R600 – R700 category with 4.3, and then declines again. Vodacom’s best PVI product is Smart Red VIP, though, which boasts a PVI of 7.59 for a monthly subscription of R1,999.

MTN contracts have the lowest PVI.

The only MTN product that provides a significant PVI is My Sky without a handset, at a monthly promotional subscription price of R1,299.

“It also has the highest number of post-paid products – 46 in total. It seems that MTN could benefit from an overhaul of its post-paid offerings, like those done by Vodacom and Cell C,” said RIA.

“It would be important for MTN to simplify its offering while providing more value to its customers through bundling more minutes, SMS, and data.”

Highest PVI by monthly subscription Q1 2015
Monthly Subscription Vodacom MTN Cell C Telkom Mobile Best Value for Money
Below R50 1.28 1.00 2.47 Cell C
R50 to R100 1.45 1.06 12.16 Cell C
R101 to R150 1.44 1.03 2.80 5.74 Telkom Mobile
R151 to R200 3.48 1.00 12.10 9.27 Cell C
R201 to R300 3.54 1.01 14.50 Cell C
R301 to R400 3.21 1.03 3.64 Cell C
R401 to R500 3.77 1.01 15.96 Cell C
R501 to R600 3.42 1.03 15.98 Cell C
R601 to R700 4.30 Vodacom
R701 to R800 3.91 1.02 3.64 Vodacom
R901 to R1,000 2.85 1.17 21.07 Cell C
R1,001 to R1,200 1.01 MTN
R1,201 to R1,400 16.20 15.04 MTN
R1,401 to R1,600 2.88 1.01 Vodacom
R1,601 to R1,800 3.07 MTN
R1,801 to R2,000 7.59 Vodacom
Average PVI 2.87 1.33 7.35 6.48 Cell C

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Best and worst mobile contracts in South Africa