How to save mobile data with WhatsApp bundles

WhatsApp is the most popular messaging app in South Africa and is installed on the majority of local smartphones.

The service has gained popularity locally not only because of its accessible and powerful features, but also its affordability.

Sending a text message or calling over WhatsApp is much cheaper than SMS or traditional cellular calls, and this has lead to a steady decline in voice and SMS revenue among mobile operators.

Buying mobile data for use with WhatsApp is cheapest when buying in bulk, although many South Africans cannot afford to consistently buy 1GB or larger data bundles to get the best rates.

Mobile networks have offered a solution in the form of WhatsApp data bundles, however, which include discounted data that can only be used on the WhatsApp platform.

Vodacom, MTN, and Cell C offer discrete WhatsApp or Social data bundles which are meant to be much cheaper than standard once-off bundles.

We compared the per-MB pricing of these operators’ WhatsApp and Social data bundles with their regular prepaid bundles to determine exactly how much South Africans can save per MB when buying these offerings.


Vodacom

Vodacom’s WhatsApp data bundles offer significant value to low-end consumers compared to other data bundles in the same price range.

The 1GB 30-Day bundle is especially attractive at R35 – far cheaper than the R149 conventional 30-Day bundle with equivalent all-platform data.

Vodacom logo red

Bundle Data Validity Price Per MB cost
WhatsApp Data Bundles
WhatsApp Ticket 10MB 1 Hour R1 R0.10
WhatsApp Ticket 50MB 1 Day R3 R0.06
WhatsApp Ticket 250MB 1 Day R5 R0.02
WhatsApp Ticket 100MB 3 Days R6 R0.06
WhatsApp Ticket 250MB 7 Days R12 R0.05
WhatsApp Ticket 1GB 30 Days R35 R0.03
Standard Once-Off Data Bundles
Internet Daily 250MB 1 Day R27 R0.11
Weekly Bundle 500MB 7 Days R60 R0.12
Weekly Bundle 1GB 7 Days R80 R0.06
Monthly Bundle 250MB 30 Days R63 R0.25
Monthly Bundle 500MB 30 Days R100 R0.20
Monthly Bundle 1GB 30 Days R149 R0.15
Monthly Bundle 2GB 30 Days R249 R0.12

MTN

MTN also includes a variety of WhatsApp bundles which offer better value than its conventional bundles at the cost of usability outside of the messaging app.

The comparison below shows that MTN’s WhatsApp social bundles are consistently less expensive per MB than even its larger once-off bundles.

MTN logo yellow

Bundle Data Validity Price Per MB cost
WhatsApp Data Bundles
WhatsApp Social Bundle 50MB 1 Day R2 R0.04
WhatsApp Social Bundle 100MB 3 Days R5 R0.05
WhatsApp Social Bundle 250MB 7 Days R10 R0.04
WhatsApp Social Bundle 1GB 20 Days R30 R0.03
Standard Once-Off Data Bundles
Hourly Data Bundle 50MB 1 Hour R5.00 R0.10
Daily Data Bundle 75MB 1 Day R12.00 R0.16
Weekly Data Bundle 200MB 7 Days R25 R0.13
Weekly Data Bundle 500MB 7 Days R55 R0.11
Monthly Data Bundle 1GB 30 Days R149 R0.15
Monthly Data Bundle 3GB 30 Days R299 R0.10

Cell C

Cell C only offers a single 1GB 30-day WhatsApp bundle, but it is the cheapest out of all the mobile operators at R29.

It is also a great deal compared to normal prepaid data bundles, although the larger standard bundles do include a good amount of Nite data.

Bundle Data Validity Price Per MB cost
WhatsApp Data Bundles
WhatsApp Bundle 1GB 30 Days R29 R0.03
Standard Once-Off Data Bundles
Daily Bundle 25MB 1 Day R4 R0.16
Daily Bundle 65MB 1 Day R9 R0.14
5-Day Data Bundle 80MB 5 Days R12 R0.15
5-Day Data Bundle 250MB 5 Days R25 R0.10
Monthly Data Bundle 750MB + 1GB Nite 30 Days R80 R0.11
Monthly Data Bundle 2GB + 4GB Nite 30 Days R199 R0.10

Telkom

Telkom does not offer users specific social media bundles, but does sell FreeMe contracts and FreeMe prepaid bundles to customers, both of which include free WhatsApp data.

FreeMe prepaid data bundles include 500MB of mobile data for instant messaging and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) usage, which includes WhatsApp voice calling.

Telkom’s FreeMe contract packages include free WhatsApp calling and messaging, with a fair usage policy of 2GB per month.

Due to these general offerings across its prepaid bundles and contracts, Telkom’s offerings could not be compared in the same manner as the other operators.

However, as the free WhatsApp usage is included on top of its data offerings, Telkom offers some of the best value when it comes to WhatsApp usage in South Africa.

Telkom office mockup logo


Now read: MTN prepaid bundle sale – Get up to 99% off

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How to save mobile data with WhatsApp bundles