Cheapest mobile data in South Africa

Telkom and Cell C offer the cheapest mobile data bundles in South Africa, a MyBroadband comparison shows.

Telkom recently reduced its 1GB monthly data bundle price from R99 to R79 and introduced a new 1.5GB bundle at R89.

This comes after Vodacom and MTN twice cut their mobile data prices – in 2020 and 2021 – resulting in their popular 1GB monthly data price dropping below Telkom’s.

Those reductions came after the Competition Commission ordered the country’s two biggest operators to slash their data prices.

The overall result was that Vodacom and MTN’s 1GB monthly mobile data bundles dropped from R149 to R85 in two years, a massive reduction of 43%.

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We compared the prices of various mobile data bundles on South Africa’s four major mobile networks, with allocations ranging between 1GB and 10GB, that are available to their prepaid, top-up, and postpaid customers.

Only bundle sizes that were available from two or more operators were included.

Cell C was the cheapest for all the bundles where it was represented — including for the 1.5GB, 2GB, 3GB, and 6GB bundles.

Telkom was the cheapest for 1GB and 5GB, and second-cheapest for 1.5GB, 2GB, 3GB, and 5GB bundles.

Telkom’s big advantage was that its anytime allocations were valid for 60 days or until the end of the next calendar month, compared to the typical 30 days validity period of most other monthly bundles.

Notably, Vodacom was the only operator that did not offer night-time data on any of its bundles up to 10GB, and despite this, it was often the most expensive choice.

MTN’s night-time data was only available from 2GB and upwards.

The table below shows the prices of monthly mobile data bundles from Vodacom, MTN, Telkom, and Cell C.

Monthly mobile data prices – 1GB to 10GB
Mobile network Anytime data Night data Validity Price
1GB
Telkom 1GB 1GB 60 days R79
Vodacom 1GB 30 days R85
MTN 1GB 30 days R85
1.5GB
Cell C 1.6GB 30 days R80
Telkom 1.5GB 1.5GB 60 days R89
MTN 1.5GB 30 days R99
2GB
Cell C 2GB 1GB 30 days R95
Telkom 2GB 2GB 60 days R139
MTN 2GB 2GB 30 days R149
Vodacom 2GB 30 days R159
3GB
Cell C 3GB 3GB 30 days R149
Telkom 3GB 3GB 60 days R199
MTN 3GB 3GB 30 days R199
Vodacom 3GB 30 days R229
5GB
Telkom 5GB 5GB 60 days R299
MTN 5GB 5GB 30 days R299
Vodacom 5GB 30 days R349
6GB
Cell C 6GB 5GB 30 days R249
MTN 6GB 6GB 30 days R349
10GB
MTN 10GB 10GB 30 days R469
Vodacom 10GB 30 days R469

Another noteworthy prepaid option is Cell C’s Home Connecta Flexi packages, which start at R59 for a 5GB + 5GB bundle and top out at a 1TB option for R899.

These packages are much cheaper than standard data bundles, with a 5GB Cell C Home Connecta Flexi service selling for less than a 1GB bundle from other operators, and the 10GB package selling for the same price as a 2GB bundle from Telkom.

The trade-off is that Cell C’s Home Connecta packages officially operate in a limited coverage area.

However, MyBroadband’s own tests have shown that you could connect to Cell C’s network using a Home Connecta Flexi SIM throughout Gauteng.

The table below summarises the Cell C Home Connecta Flexi prepaid packages available.

Cell C Home Connecta Flexi
Package Anytime Data Nite Data Validity Carry Over Price
10GB 5GB 5GB 30 days 30 days R59
20GB 10GB 10GB 30 days 30 days R139
50GB 25GB 25GB 30 days 30 days R179
100GB 50GB 50GB 30 days 30 days R199
200GB 100GB 100GB 30 days 30 days R389
400GB 200GB 200GB 30 days 30 days R699
1TB 1TB 30 days 30 days R899

Now read: Disappearing data detected on Cell C — why it happens

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Cheapest mobile data in South Africa