Beware R500,000 per GB roaming rate

Exorbitant international roaming charges have been a hot topic for years, and looking at what users pay to roam, it is easy to see why.

While local out-of-bundle rates peak at R2 per MB, international roaming rates often exceed R200 per MB – around R200,000 per GB.

The European Union has already put regulations in place to make roaming more affordable in the region, and its African counterpart is now calling for similar regulations.

Ministers from southern Africa have made renewed calls for operators to reduce roaming prices in the region, or do away with them.

According to an ICASA official, loopholes in regulations have led to operators taking advantage of consumers by charging them exorbitant amounts for roaming.

Ministers from the 15 SADC member states, who are currently meeting in Durban, want these costs to be slashed by up to 30%.

The high price of roaming services are a hindrance to economic development and the movement of people within SADC, they said.


While a 30% price cut is helpful, it will not make roaming affordable in many of the SADC countries.

This is shown in the overview of the roaming charges South Africans pay when visiting other southern African countries, below.

Roaming Prices
SA Subscriber Country Operator Roaming Price MB Price per GB
MTN Angola Unitel R500.00 R500,000
Cell C Angola Movicel R309.60 R309,600
Cell C Botswana Orange R210.50 R210,500
Vodacom Botswana BTC R51.20 R51,200
MTN Botswana Orange R15.00 R15,000
Cell C Mauritius MTML R212.00 R212,000
Vodacom Mauritius Mattel R102.40 R102,400
MTN Mauritius Orange R25.00 R25,000
Cell C Mozambique Movitel R163.00 R163,000
MTN Mozambique Vodacom R150.00 R150,000
Vodacom Mozambique Movitel R51.20 R51,200
Cell C Namibia TN Mobile R102.40 R102,400
Vodacom Namibia MTC R17.50 R17,500
MTN Namibia MTC R25.00 R25,000
Cell C Zimbabwe Telecel R266.20 R266,200
Vodacom Zimbabwe Econet R17.50 R17,500
MTN Zimbabwe Econet R15.00 R150,000

Now read: SADC ministers want roaming charges to drop

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Beware R500,000 per GB roaming rate