We compared Vodacom Plus and Telkom FreeMe – and the winner is clear

Vodacom launched its Smart+ and Red+ contract plans on 1 August, following Telkom unveiling its new FreeMe packages.

The Plus plans from Vodacom follow the structure of its Smart and Red plans – with minutes, SMS messages, and data included.

Vodacom tweaked the existing plans to offer more data and fewer SMS messages, and adjusted the prices accordingly.

We took Vodacom’s Plus plans and compared them to Telkom’s FreeMe packages, as detailed below.


Post-paid vs prepaid and roll-over

First, we must note that Telkom Free packages are available as Boost Bundles to contract and prepaid subscribers at the same price.

Prepaid subscribers who buy a boost bundle will receive all the package benefits a contract subscriber gets.

Vodacom’s deals are only available if you sign a 24-month contract.

While a FreeMe boost bundle of 500MB is available, Telkom has no 500MB FreeMe contract listed on its website, so it is excluded from this comparison.


Basic package value

The tables below summarise the basic package value included in each of the contracts.

Vodacom Price Data Minutes SMS
Smart S+ R179 500MB 75 75
Smart M+ R289 750MB 120 120
Smart L+ R469 1GB 250 250
Smart XL+ R659 1.5GB 400 400
Red Classic+ R889 2GB 700 Unlimited
Red Premium+ R1,399 4GB 1,200 Unlimited
Red VIP+ R1,749 10GB Unlimited Unlimited
Telkom FreeMe Price Data Minutes SMS
1GB R99 1GB 0 50 per day
2GB R149 2GB 0 50 per day
5GB R299 5GB 0 50 per day
10GB R399 10GB 0 50 per day
20GB R599 20GB 1,500 50 per day
Unlimited R999 25GB FUP 3,000 50 per day

Added value

Certain features of the deals are more difficult to compare.

Counting in Vodacom’s favour, for example, is that its Plus plans offer a 60-day roll-over on minutes, data, and SMS messages, whereas FreeMe has no roll-over.

In Telkom FreeMe’s favour is 10GB of free Wi-Fi data, unlimited free calls to Telkom numbers, and free access to WhatsApp, BBM, and Viber with a 2GB fair use policy.


Extra bundles and out-of-bundle rates

To balance the value of included package benefits in the plans, we used the bolt-on bundles and out-of-bundle prices summarised in the tables below.

Telkom all-network voice bundles Price
25 minutes R17
50 minutes R34
100 minutes R67
200 minutes R134
500 minutes R299
Telkom bundles Data Only FreeMe Boost
250MB R39
500MB R69 R69
1GB R99 R99
2GB R139 R149
3GB R199 R199
5GB R299 R299
10GB R499 R399
Vodacom data bundles Price
250MB R59
500MB R99
1GB R149
2GB R249
3GB R299
5GB R399
10GB R599
Out-of-bundle rates Data Voice SMS
Telkom FreeMe R0.29 per MB R0.69 per minute R0.30 per SMS
Vodacom Smart S+ and M+ R1.00 per MB R1.75 per minute R0.35 per SMS
Vodacom Smart L+ and XL+ R1.00 per MB R1.50 per minute R0.35 per SMS
Vodacom Red+ R1.00 per MB R1.25 per minute N/A

Deals compared

The Telkom FreeMe and Vodacom Plus deals are compared head-to-head below.

Vodacom Smart S+ vs Telkom FreeMe 1GB — Winner: FreeMe

Vodacom Smart S+ Price Telkom FreeMe 1GB Price
Base price R179 Base Price R99
500MB bundle R99 75 minutes R51
Total R278 Total R150

Vodacom Smart M+ vs Telkom FreeMe 1GB — Winner: FreeMe

Vodacom Smart M+ Price Telkom FreeMe 1GB Price
Base price R289 Base Price R99
250MB bundle R59 120 minutes R81
Total R348 Total R180

Vodacom Smart L+ vs Telkom FreeMe 1GB — Winner: FreeMe

Vodacom Smart L+ Price Telkom FreeMe 1GB Price
Base price R469 Base Price R99
250 minutes R168
Total R469 Total R267

Vodacom Smart XL+ vs FreeMe 1GB — Winner: FreeMe

Vodacom Smart XL+ Price Telkom FreeMe 1GB Price
Base price R659 Base Price R99
400 minutes R268
500MB bundle R69
Total R659 Total R436

Vodacom Red Classic+ vs Telkom FreeMe 2GB — Winner: FreeMe

Vodacom Red Classic+ Price Telkom FreeMe 2GB Price
Base price R889 Base Price R149
700 minutes R433
Total R889 Total R582

Vodacom Red Premium+ vs Telkom FreeMe 2GB — Winner: FreeMe

Vodacom Red Premium+ Price Telkom FreeMe 2GB Price
Base price R1,399 Base Price R149
2GB bundle R139
1,200 minutes R732
Total R1,399 Total R1,020

Vodacom Red Premium+ vs Telkom FreeMe 5GB — Winner: FreeMe

Vodacom Red Premium+ Price Telkom FreeMe 5GB Price
Base price R1,399 Base Price R299
1GB bundle R149 1,200 minutes R732
Total R1,548 Total R1,031

Vodacom Red VIP+ vs high-end Telkom FreeMe packages — Winner: FreeMe

Comparing Vodacom’s Red VIP+ contract to FreeMe packages proved challenging due to the unlimited minutes included.

Vodacom does not have a fair use limit for the number of voice minutes you can use.

It says it will step in if any usage adversely impacts the quality of service for other subscribers.

To compare Vodacom’s top-end SIM-only contract to Telkom’s offering, we show the basic package value of the 10GB and Unlimited FreeMe packages in the table below.

Note: with the R750 difference between Red VIP+ and FreeMe Unlimited, a Telkom subscriber can buy another 1,225 all-network voice minutes.

Basic package value Price Data Minutes SMS
Telkom FreeMe 10GB R399 10GB 0 50 per day
Telkom FreeMe Unlimited R999 Unlimited (25GB FUP) 3,000 50 per day
Vodacom Red VIP+ R1,749 10GB Unlimited Unlimited

More on Telkom FreeMe and Vodacom Plus

Vodacom’s new Plus packages take on Telkom FreeMe

Telkom FreeMe vs data-only bundle weirdness

Telkom slashes voice bundle prices

This is how Telkom’s Unlimited FreeMe fair use policy works

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We compared Vodacom Plus and Telkom FreeMe – and the winner is clear