ICASA has released its latest tariff report, which shows that MTN’s data prices in South Africa are more expensive than most of the territories in which it operates.
The regulator’s tariff report is based on 160 tariff notifications which it received between 1 July 2017 and 31 December 2017.
As part of the report, ICASA benchmarked data prices for 500MB, 1GB, and 2GB bundles within the SADC and BRICS countries.
For MTN and Vodacom, which operate in multiple countries, the regulator also benchmarked South African prices against the prices in their other territories.
What the report shows
The report shows that MTN South Africa charges the highest price for a 500MB data bundle when compared to the other countries in which it operates.
“This is concerning, since 500MB is the preferred data bundle by low-income earners,” said ICASA.
MTN SA charges the third highest price for a 1GB data bundle, and the second highest price in the 2GB data bundle category.
MTN South Africa said it is aware of ICASA’s latest tariff report and the findings within it.
“MTN has not yet engaged with ICASA on the contents of the report and welcomes the opportunity to discuss each of the territories mentioned, and the criteria by which they were selected, with the regulator,” it said.
It added that pricing in each of MTN’s territories outside of South Africa is determined by cost factors and production functions associated with establishing and operating a network in these regions.
“Differences in data tariffs are also unique to each region and subject to varying network operation cost factors, such as electricity usage, legal and licensing fees, spectrum fees, and network infrastructure deployment,” said MTN SA.
“Providing a product offering that is best suited to our customers remains a core priority for MTN, ensuring that the best value and deals are provided across the continent.”
It is because of this that MTN is in the process of reviewing its product offering and pricing transformation to create a more suitable product portfolio for customers.