Uncapped smartphone data showdown — Telkom smashes MTN and takes on Rain

Telkom’s new postpaid uncapped smartphone data product promises much greater value than similar services offered by MTN and Rain, a MyBroadband analysis shows.

Telkom launched its new Infinite and Infinite Max services on 21 June 2022, offering uncapped data, bundled with voice minutes and SMS messages.

Like all uncapped mobile data services, Telkom Infinite is governed by a fair usage policy (FUP).

Although each network operator has a different approach with its FUP, the principle is the same — avoid overloading towers with data traffic through limitations that customers can live with.

Similar to MTN’s Sky Platinum uncapped smartphone service, Telkom Infinite lets subscribers consume a set amount of data at the maximum speed allowed by the network.

Once this data is consumed, the networks throttle subscribers’ speeds.

Telkom Infinite offers 15 GB of “high definition” data, with speeds throttled to 1.5 Mbps after that. It is R299 per month.

Telkom Infinite Max includes 30 GB of “HD” data for R399 per month.

According to Telkom, its throttled speeds are enough for streaming video at standard definition resolutions, hence the “HD” reference for its fair usage limits.

Telkom Infinite packages also include an allocation of voice minutes and SMS messages.

In comparison, Rain’s unlimited 4G for phones service at R299 per month does not implement a tiered FUP system with throttling.

Instead, Rain limits video streaming to 360p resolution, and throttles virtual private networks and BitTorrent downloads from the outset.

All other traffic can run at the maximum speed Rain’s network offers, regardless of how much data subscribers consume.

Rain does not offer traditional cellular operator services such as voice calling and SMS messages — it is exclusively a data network.

It also does not allow using your smartphone as a hotspot with this price plan.

MTN Sky Platinum offers 200 GB of full-speed data, after which it throttles speeds to 1 Mbps.

It includes 10,000 any-network voice minutes and 400 SMS messages per day.

However, it is R2,099 per month, and MTN’s terms and conditions preclude using your phone as a hotspot.

A comparison of Telkom, Rain, and MTN’s smartphone uncapped data price plans are summarised in the table below.

Uncapped smartphone plan Price FUP Minutes SMS
Telkom Infinite R299
  • 15GB “HD”
  • 1.5Mbps throttling
  • 6,000 Telkom on-net
  • 300 any-net
6,000
Telkom Infinite Max R399
  • 30GB “HD”
  • 1.5Mbps throttling
  • 6,000 Telkom on-net
  • 500 any-net
6,000
Rain unlimited 4G for phones R299
  • 360p video
  • VPNs and torrents throttled
  • No hotspotting
— (0) — (0)
MTN Sky Platinum R2,099
  • 200GB full speed
  • 1Mbps throttling
  • No hotspotting
10,000 any-net 400/day

Now read: Uncapped mobile broadband in South Africa — why networks throttle your connection

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Uncapped smartphone data showdown — Telkom smashes MTN and takes on Rain