If you need 10GB every month, or a big once-off top-up, you may look for the cheapest deals in South Africa.
While you can get cheaper mobile data prices if you take out a 24-month contract, many people would prefer not to commit to a data package for such a long period.
This is where prepaid, and the month-to-month mobile data packages offered by Internet service providers, shine.
You might assume that since ISPs like Afrihost and Vox offer special month-to-month packages through a wholesale agreement with a network operator, they would have the best prices across the board.
However, as the table below shows, this is not the case when it comes to larger data bundles.
|Afrihost Mobile (base)||R497||R987||R247||R99||R58|
|Afrihost Mobile (top-up)||R990||R1,980||R495||R198||R99|
Afrihost Plus and other value-adds
A factor to consider in this comparison is that each operator and service provider has their own set of value-adds, which make their bundles more attractive.
Axxess, Afrihost’s sister company, offers a three-month rollover on its data, for example.
Telkom’s FreeMe boost bundles include free SMS messages, on-network minutes, and extra data for instant messaging and voice-over-IP services.
Cell C’s DataExtenda bundles don’t expire, as long as you keep loading a new bundle before your current one expires.
MTN has “data givebacks” which offer an extra allotment of data for a limited period. The only one relevant to this comparison is the extra 1GB you get on a 2GB bundle for 30 days, effectively making it a 3GB bundle.
Besides the MTN data giveback promotion, these extras are not quantified for the purposes of this comparison. However, it would be remiss of us not to look at Afrihost Plus – an add-on that lets subscribers double the data of one of their capped packages.
It also includes 500MB of free Afrihost Mobile data.
The table below summarises how the addition of Afrihost Plus – which is an extra R99 per month – changes the data price comparison.
|Operator||10GB||20GB||5GB / 6GB||2GB||1GB|
|Afrihost Mobile (with Plus)||R346||R596||R244 (6GB)||R157||R128|