ICASA has compared the price of mobile data from Vodacom and MTN to prices elsewhere in Africa.
It has also compared the data bundle pricing of South Africa’s mobile networks against their counterparts across the SADC.
ICASA performed the comparisons for its biannual retail tariffs report, covering the period of 1 July to 31 December 2017.
For the report, ICASA looked at the rates of 30-day 500MB, 1GB, and 2GB prepaid data bundles – converted them to US dollars.
It found that South Africa was not the most expensive or the cheapest country for mobile data – as detailed in the graphs below.
500MB prepaid data in USD
1GB prepaid data in USD
2GB prepaid data in USD
Prices within BRICS
ICASA also compared South Africa’s data prices to similar packages available in Brazil, China, India, and Russia.
Russia and India were found to have the lowest average prices for prepaid 500MB, 1GB, and 2GB packages.
China’s average prices for the bundles, however, were significantly higher than the other BRICS countries. South Africa placed third in terms of price.
|Country||500MB – US$||1GB – US$||2GB – US$|
Data prices in Africa
ICASA’s report also included comparisons of Vodacom and MTN data prices in the markets where they operate.
It found that Vodacom and MTN tended to charge more for the same amount of data in South Africa than they did elsewhere in the world.
Only MTN Cyprus was consistently more expensive than MTN South Africa, while MTN Botswana’s prices were in line with domestic prepaid data pricing.
Vodacom South Africa was consistently more expensive than Vodacom and Vodafone’s other operations in Africa.
Vodacom charged the equivalent of $7.35 for a 500MB bundle in South Africa, while Vodacom Tanzania charged $2.25. Vodafone subscribers in Egypt paid around $0.84 for 500MB.
A comparison of MTN’s prepaid data bundle prices in Africa is given in the table below.
|500MB – US$||1GB – US$||2GB – US$|
Vodacom’s comparison of 1GB and 2GB data prices is shown in the graphs below.