Netflix is a popular streaming service around the world, and South Africans have also taken to the platform for their fix of original shows like Stranger Things and Orange is the New Black.
The service has subsequently gained popularity locally, despite mobile data prices making it financially difficult for users to watch content on their mobile devices while travelling.
Netflix does include a number of features in its mobile application which help viewers to save mobile data, however.
In addition to allowing viewers to choose their streaming quality, Netflix also automatically tests whether the viewer is on a mobile data connection and limits their usage accordingly.
These features, paired with the right mobile network, can make watching Netflix while on the go feasible for many South Africans.
Barring any special offerings from mobile networks, the most important factor in the price of streaming Netflix is the cost of a data bundle.
Below is the price of a 1GB mobile data bundle from all mobile networks, including Rain. It is important to note that Rain does not offer explicit bundles and instead charges a flat rate of R50 per GB.
According to tests conducted by MyBroadband, 1GB of mobile data is enough to facilitate four hours of watching Netflix on an Android smartphone.
We have compared the 1GB mobile data bundle prices from each operator below, in addition to the cost per one hour of Netflix based on this in-bundle rate.
|Network||1GB Bundle||Price per MB||Netflix cost|
|Rain||R50||R0.05||R10.20 per hour|
|Telkom||R100||R0.10||R20.40 per hour|
|Cell C||R100||R0.10||R20.40 per hour|
|Vodacom||R149||R0.15||R30.60 per hour|
|MTN||R149||R0.15||R30.60 per hour|
Based on the comparison above, Rain offers the best deal in terms of raw data value for Netflix, although it is important to note that this gap closes when you purchase a bigger once-off data bundle.
The simple value of the data purchased is not the only factor however, as some networks offer exclusive features for fans of Netflix.
Add-ons and LIT_
The good news for South African video streaming fans is that all of the mobile networks except for Rain Mobile offer video streaming data bundles for discounted data usage in certain applications.
This allows users to buy discounted data which they can only use on selected platforms.
MTN and Vodacom offer these discounted bundles through their Ticket and Entertainment Pass products respectively. Both of these products include discounted data usage on Showmax, YouTube, and DStv Now.
Cell C also offers MediaPlay bundles for free video streaming on its own Black streaming service that offers subscription and rental plans to customers.
The only mobile network which offers discounted Netflix access, however, is Telkom Mobile.
Through its LIT_ bundles and packages, Telkom offers discounted access to a number of streaming services, including Netflix, YouTube, and Showmax.
LIT_ bundles are available for far cheaper than standard data prices, and customers subscribed to a FreeMe 5GB contract or larger are given a 50GB monthly LIT_ Video data bundle for free.
This means if you are serious about watching Netflix on a mobile connection and want to save as much money as possible while watching a significant amount of content, Telkom is easily the best choice.