Using large amounts of mobile data in South Africa can be expensive, especially if you have no backup Wi-Fi connection and require a constant connection to the Internet.
It is certainly cheaper to buy a large mobile data bundle instead of several smaller ones, but even larger mobile data bundles are far more expensive than buying fixed broadband data.
With the advent of cheaper mobile data offerings from newcomers like Rain Mobile, competition has increased among mobile networks and bulk data bundles are noticeably more competitive.
We compared the prices of 10GB mobile data bundles from South African mobile networks to determine which offers the best value.
Value and pricing
The salient measurement of consumer value when comparing large data bundles is the price per MB, but there are also other factors to consider.
Some bundles, such as Telkom and Cell C’s 10GB mobile data bundles, offer additional night-time data, which can be used between 00:00 and 06:00 every day instead of standard data.
Other mobile networks offer once-off 10GB data bundles which last more than the standard 30 days, offering additional value to consumers.
It is also important to compare the performance of each network in your area to determine which offers the best speeds and the most stable connection.
We included Rain’s standard data rate in this comparison, although it should be noted that Rain Mobile customers pay a flat rate of R50 per GB and do not purchase discrete bundles.
Rain Mobile customers can also purchase an Unlimited Off-Peak plan for R250.
We compared the price of 10GB data bundles on each network, using the following sources:
- MTN Monthly Data Bundles
- Vodacom Prepaid Data Bundles
- Cell C 30-Day Data Bundles (USSD)
- Telkom Once-Off Data Bundles
- Rain standard package
10GB data bundle comparison
Below are the 10GB once-off data bundles available in South Africa, along with their per-MB pricing, data validity, and bonus data offerings.
|Network||Price||Expiry||Night Data||Rand per MB|
|Cell C||R499||90 days||15GB||R0.05|
Vodacom is the most expensive of the mobile networks when it comes to 10GB once-off data bundles, and not by a small margin.
All other networks offer a Rand-per-MB rate of R0.05, while Vodacom’s is R0.06.
It should also be noted that Telkom and Cell C include night-time bonus data, as well as longer validity periods.
If customers plan to use a large amount of data at night, these packages would be great, although Rain also offers 19 hours of unlimited data usage per day between 11pm and 6pm the following day.
This package is priced at R250, and while it may be subject to shaping, it could be the cheaper option for heavy data users.