South Africa’s top mobile data users consume up to 300GB per month.
This is according to Vodacom, which told MyBroadband that this figure does not include usage on any devices other than smartphones.
It explained that while this may sound like a lot, it doesn’t have any tangible effect on its network.
“As the number of mobile subscribers that might use 200-300 gigs a month is not high, it follows that the impact on the network is negligible,” said a Vodacom spokesperson.
When MyBroadband asked Vodacom how much these users pay per month, it said it was unable to provide a definitive answer because this figure varies significantly with each of these high-volume users.
“The level of revenue will vary from user to user depending on the package they subscribe to and how much of it is zero-rated, so there is no typical pattern,” Vodacom explained.
Vodacom also noted that its 5G smartphone users are currently using about 2.5-times the data its 4G subscribers are using on average.
Nothing compared to fibre
While this is truly an impressive amount of data for smartphone users to consume, it pales in comparison to South Africa’s top fibre users.
Vox told MyBroadband that its average fibre to the home customer used between 350GB and 500GB per month since the national lockdown began.
Its top monthly user over this period, however, consumed an astonishing 137.5TB in April 2020, and a total of 371.3TB between April and August 2020.
RSAWEB told MyBroadband that the most data any user consumed in a single month on its network during the national lockdown is 71TB.
Additionally, in March 2020 – the month in which the national lockdown began – the following ISPs told MyBroadband how much data their top users consumed:
Fibre vs mobile data
Clearly, there is a significant gap between the data consumption of South Africans using their smartphone data when compared to their fibre usage.
This is because mobile data is incredibly expensive when compared to the price of fibre.
For example, a 20GB MTN monthly mobile data bundle costs R699 – for which price you can easily get uncapped fibre.
If you are to consume 100GB of MTN data, you will have to pay R2,499 – which is much more expensive than most fibre to the home packages you could find in South Africa.
It therefore makes sense that South Africans would be more discerning with their mobile data usage.