ICASA’s latest cellular tariff report shows that mobile data prices in South Africa have not dropped as much as the mobile operators would like you to believe.
The report, which measures mobile services between 2 January and 30 June 2018, looks at how prices have changed in the market and how this impacts consumers.
Using the example of a 1GB data bundle from Vodacom, MTN, Telkom, and Cell C, ICASA highlighted how prices have remained the same for several years.
“In 2013, Vodacom and MTN were charging R149 for a 1GB data bundle. Cell C was charging R155, whilst Telkom Mobile was charging the highest price at R180 per 1GB,” said ICASA.
“In 2014, Vodacom increased its price from R149 to R279. This price was reduced by Vodacom in 2015 to R149 and it has remained unchanged since.”
ICASA added that Telkom reduced its price for a 1GB data bundle from R180 to R99 in 2015. In 2018, the price is R100.
“Vodacom, MTN, and Cell C are all charging R149 for a 1GB data bundle in 2018,” said ICASA.
No price drop
As shown in the graph below, the price of a 1GB data bundle on the major mobile networks has remained virtually unchanged since 2015.
This is despite other forms of broadband, like fibre and fixed-LTE, coming down in price in recent years.
It must be noted that Rain Mobile does not offer data bundles like the other mobile providers. Instead, it provides a flat rate of 5c per MB, which is an effective R50 per GB.