Standard Bank recently launched its Standard Bank Mobile MVNO on the Cell C network, offering packages exclusively to its customers.
SB Mobile provides cellular and data services on Cell C’s network and also benefits from the recent roaming agreement with MTN.
It has a unique billing structure, which provides customers with the equivalent of their monthly bank fees in airtime if they pay a R39 monthly subscription.
Customers can then use this free airtime to buy voice or data plans which are valid for 30 days.
After this, the remainder of their free airtime will deplete according to the rates within these plans, along with any other airtime the user tops up with.
To figure out exactly how this system works, we signed up for the service.
Standard Bank kindly provided MyBroadband with an SB Mobile SIM, so all we needed to do was unpack it and sign up on the SB Mobile website.
Unpacking the SIM
Conventionally, users would order their SIM online and it would be delivered to them via courier, who would conduct the RICA process upon delivery.
The SIM ships with detachable size adapters, allowing it to fit into most devices on the market.
Below are images of the Standard Bank Mobile SIM packaging and its contents.
Now that we had the SIM, we needed to sign up and activate our SIM online.
The first thing the Standard Bank Mobile portal requires is the last seven digits of your SIM number, following which you will need to provide your Standard Bank account number and ID number to prove you are a customer.
We were then told which product we qualified for. We signed up for the mobile service with an Elite account, giving us R100 free airtime for our subscription fee of R39 per month.
The website also requests that you choose a plan at this stage, which will determine the rates at which your airtime depletes for data and voice usage.
We selected the cheapest data plan, which allowed us to consume data at R0.15 when using our SIM.
Once checkout was completed, we could access the Standard Bank Mobile dashboard and this provided us with insight into our SIM’s balance and active packages.
Now that the SIM was activated, it was time to test it out.
We inserted the SB Mobile SIM into a Huawei Mate 20 Pro, which boasts a cutting-edge Cat.21 LTE modem.
The mobile operator indicator immediately registered as “SBSA”, but did not state whether we were on Cell C or roaming on MTN infrastructure.
We then ran some speed tests to get an idea of the connection’s capabilities, and found that download and upload speeds peaked at 14.48Mbps and 12.88Mbps respectively.
These tests were conducted in Midstream Estate at 13:00 on 22 November 2018.
Below is a screenshot of two speed tests run on the Standard Bank Mobile SIM.
After we ran the speeds tests, we checked the SB Mobile online portal and saw that we had already depleted all our free airtime, which was used on data for the tests.
Our data plan saw us consume data at R0.15 per MB.
To continue using the service in this case, you would have to top up the airtime balance from your Standard Bank account.
The default plan is “top up” for the service, but users can change options and automatically incur airtime expenses from their bank account if they choose.