ICASA has released its latest tariff report, which shows that Vodacom’s data prices in South Africa are more expensive than the other territories in which it operates.
The regulator’s tariff report is based on 160 tariff notifications which it received between 1 July 2017 to 31 December 2017.
As part of the report, ICASA benchmarked prices for 500MB, 1GB, and 2GB data bundles within the SADC and BRICS countries.
For MTN and Vodacom, which operate in multiple countries, the regulator benchmarked its South African prices against its other territories.
ICASA’s tariff report
The research report shows that Vodacom South Africa’s 1GB and 2GB data bundle prices are expensive when compared those which Vodacom charges in other countries it operates in.
“This might be because of the economic factors in those countries and various other factors,” stated the report.
The graphs below show the price of 1GB and 2GB data bundles across Vodacom’s international footprint, which includes Vodafone operations.
Vodacom said the ICASA report only considers tariffs, however, and ignores all the other components of mobile broadband offerings.
These components are important for the provision of affordable and reliable broadband services that are universally accessible, said Vodacom.
“By comparing only price, ICASA’s comparison ignores service availability and reach, quality, price of mobile devices, and factors exogenous to mobile operators.”
It added that factors such as spectrum availability – which impacts on reach, quality, and cost of the network – are also ignored.
“South Africa typically outperforms the rest of Africa on these non-price elements (coverage, speed, and device penetration) and when properly incorporated in a comparison will fundamentally alter the conclusions,” it said.