Cell C smashes MTN and Vodacom in prepaid price comparison

South Africa’s four major mobile operators — MTN, Vodacom, Telkom, and Cell C — offer several prepaid price plans from which to choose.

However, not all of them will suit every customer’s needs.

MyBroadband compared the mobile operators’ prepaid price plans to determine which is best for voice-centric and data-centric customers.

We disregarded SMS-centric plans from the comparison as most South Africans use data-based messaging services like WhatsApp or Telegram, which offer a more affordable and feature-rich experience.

Better prepaid price plans may be available for those who still need to use traditional SMS daily.

Regarding data-centric customers, Cell C’s 4Eva Rates plan offers the lowest out-of-bundle data rate of the lot at R0.06 per megabyte. As the name implies, these flat rates don’t change.

Interestingly, it also offers the lowest voice rate of South Africa’s major mobile operators at R0.49 per minute.

However, the plan offers no special benefits beyond the set flat rates.

Vodacom’s best prepaid options for data-centric customers are the Power Pack and Prepaid LTE plans.

Both offer a similar data rate of R0.29 per megabyte. However, their respective voice and SMS rates vary.

On Vodacom’s Power Pack plan, customers pay R1.55 per minute and R0.52 per SMS, while those on the Prepaid LTE plan pay R2.09 per minute and R0.79 per SMS.

Cell C, MTN, Vodacom, and Telkom’s prepaid price plan rates are compared in the table below.

Prepaid price plan rates comparison
Plan Data rate Voice rate SMS rate
Cell C 4Eva Rates R0.06 R0.49 R0.29
MTN Bonus Bonanza R0.25 R1.50 R0.25
MTN Super Data R0.25 R1.99 R0.50
Cell C All-In-One R0.29 R1.50 R0.50
Vodacom Prepaid LTE R0.29 R2.09 R0.79
Vodacom Power Pack R0.29 R1.55 R0.52
Telkom Prepaid LTE R0.35 R2.77 R0.50
Telkom More R0.35 R1.99 R0.50
Telkom Thola More R0.35 R0.75 R0.50
MTN Pay Per Second R0.49 R0.99 R0.50
Vodacom 79c R0.49 R0.79 R0.52

Those who prefer Vodacom’s network and make many daily calls will likely prefer its Prepaid 79c plan, which charges R0.79 per minute.

The low data rate featured in MTN’s Bonus Bonanza and Super Data plans likely makes these the most suitable plans for data-centric customers on its network.

Both plans offer the same data rate of R0.25 per megabyte, while the Bonus Bonanza plan carries a voice rate of R1.50 per minute and an SMS rate of R0.25 per SMS.

On the other hand, MTN customers on the Super Data plan pay R1.99 per minute and R0.50 per message.

The mobile operator’s Pay Per Second plan is best suited for voice-centric customers on the network and carries a rate of R0.99 per minute, charged per second.

MTN says its Pay Per Second plan is ideal for those who want control of their spending with a fixed rate.

Telkom offers three prepaid price plans — Telkom More, Telkom Thola More, and Prepaid LTE — which all offer the same data and SMS rate of R0.35 per megabyte and R0.50 per SMS.

However, voice rates differ significantly. Telkom Thola More offers the lowest rate of R0.75 per minute, while voice rates for the Telkom Prepaid LTE and Telkom More plans are R2.77 and R1.99 per minute, respectively.

Looking past data, voice, and SMS rates, mobile operators also offer plan-specific benefits, including extra airtime, data, and SMSes on recharges.

These include Vodacom’s Prepaid LTE, Cell C’s All-In-One and Super Bonus, and Telkom’s Thola More and Prepaid LTE plans.

Vodacom Prepaid LTE customers can buy plan-specific data bundles at lower prices than those on other plans pay.

Data allocations range from 2GB to 100GB and come with equivalent Night Owl data allocations that can be used outside peak hours.

Customers can buy 2GB of anytime data with 2GB of Night Owl data for R49. This is the cheapest bundle available on the package and is valid for 14 days.

The most expensive bundle includes 100GB of anytime data and 100GB of Night Owl data, valid for 34 days, for R349.

Cell C’s All-In-One rewards customers with free data and on-network airtime for recharging, with allocations varying based on the recharge amount.

The mobile operator’s Super Bonus and Ultra Bonus plans focus on airtime rewards, giving customers free on-network and any-network airtime for recharging,

Like Vodacom Prepaid LTE, Telkom’s Prepaid LTE plan lets customers buy plan-specific data bundles, with allocations ranging from 15GB to 440GB.

The data allocation is split evenly between any time and Night Surfer data. The anytime data is valid for 61 days, while Night Surfer data expires after 31 days.

Telkom’s Thola More plan rewards customers with free data, minutes, and SMS allocations for recharging. Allocations and validity periods vary based on the recharge amount.


Now read: MTN’s bombshell mobile plan now available without changing your number

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Cell C smashes MTN and Vodacom in prepaid price comparison