Many people are complaining about South Africa having among the highest broadband prices in the world, and mobile data is often mentioned as part of the pricing complaint.
There is such a strong sense that broadband is expensive in South Africa that the government is looking at measures to address the issue.
In 2014 Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services Siyabonga Cwele promised to reduce the cost of communicating in the country, through pricing and content reforms.
He indicated that Icasa had concluded the broadband market value-chain study, which will assist in regulating broadband prices.
Is South Africa’s mobile broadband expensive?
To establish if South Africa’s mobile broadband products are as expensive as many people claim, MyBroadband looked at mobile data packages from a few operators in the developed world.
The pricing information, summarised in the table below, shows that South Africans are actually getting a good deal when looking at mobile data packages.
It should be noted that the picture changes significantly when looking at bundled packages which include voice, SMS, and data.
Large data bundles – bigger than 10GB – are also affordable in the countries listed below, while they are expensive in South Africa.
|Country||Operator||Data allowance (GB)||Contract type||Monthly price||Price per GB|
|South Africa||Cell C||5||Contract||R199||R40|
|South Africa||Cell C||3||Contract||R159||R53|
|Australia||Vodafone||8||Month to month||R424||R53|
|Australia||Telstra||8||Month to month||R519||R65|
|South Africa||Cell C||1||Contract||R69||R69|
|Australia||Vodafone||4||Month to month||R283||R71|
|Australia||Vodafone||2.5||Month to month||R189||R75|
|South Africa||Cell C||5||Prepaid||R399||R80|
|UK||Vodafone||5||Month to month||R403||R81|
|Australia||Telstra||4||Month to month||R330||R83|
|UK||EE||3||Pay as you go||R288||R96|
|South Africa||Cell C||3||Prepaid||R299||R100|
|UK||Vodafone||3||Month to month||R307||R102|
|South Africa||Cell C||1||Prepaid||R149||R149|
|UK||EE||1||Pay as you go||R192||R192|
|UK||Vodafone||1||Month to month||R192||R192|
|Australia||Telstra||1||Month to month||R236||R236|
Exchange rates used for this comparison:
- 1 USD = 12.15 ZAR
- 1 AUD = 9.43 ZAR
- 1 GBP = 19.20 ZAR