Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Telecommunications and Postal Services recently conducted a two-day hearing on South Africa’s mobile data costs, after which it urged the mobile operators to cut their prices.
The Star reported that Mmamoloko Kubayi, chairperson of the portfolio committee on Telecommunications and Postal Services, said the operators have a month to ‘get their act together’.
“Either they trim data costs, or the National Assembly will order them to do so,” The Star reported her as saying.
“Operators can individually restructure their data plans between now and November, or wait for our recommendation when we would make a pronouncement on what should happen with the high data prices,” said Kubayi.
MyBroadband asked the mobile operators whether they are planning to respond with price cuts. Their responses are listed below.
Vodacom – We remain committed to price transformation
Vodacom said it has noted media reports regarding mobile data price cuts, and is engaging with Chairperson Mmamoloko Kubayi to better understand the portfolio committee’s position on the matter.
“Vodacom remains committed to price transformation and working with all stakeholders to build on the significant progress we have made in recent years. We have an established history of reducing data prices – evidenced by the 13.6% decline in 2015 alone,” the company said.
Vodacom said it constantly evaluates opportunities with its network to deliver social offerings to its customers through its zero-rated offers.
“We have an open invitation to providers of content aimed at advancing employability in South Africa and invite interested parties to e-mail us at [email protected] to apply to have applicable content added to our zero-rated portal,” Vodacom said.
MTN – Prices are largely determined by market forces
“In South Africa, prices are largely determined by market forces. At MTN, our prices are informed by these market realities,” said Mteto Nyati, Chief Executive Officer, MTN SA.