Capitec and Shoprite K’nect beat Cell C and FNB

Capitec Connect is the most affordable mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) backed by Cell C in South Africa, a MyBroadband analysis shows.

We found that the MVNO is cheaper than Cell C, FNB Connect, Mr Price Mobile, Shoprite K’nect, and Standard Bank Mobile regarding out-of-bundle voice, data and SMS rates.

It also offers the cheapest data bundles up to 1GB, thanks to its flat data rate of R0.045 per megabyte (MB).

MVNOs leverage the infrastructure of mobile network operators such as MTN and Cell C, allowing them to offer cellular services without investing billions in building towers and networks.

MyBroadband compared prepaid out-of-bundle rates and data prices from prominent Cell C-powered MVNOs and Cell C itself.

Cell C is the most expensive regarding prepaid out-of-bundle voice and data rates at R1.50 per minute and R0.50 per MB, respectively. The MVNO with the highest SMS rates is Standard Bank Mobile at R0.60 per SMS.

However, Shoprite K’nect and Mr Price Mobile don’t specify SMS rates on their website, so one could be more expensive.

Curiously, Shoprite K’nect also doesn’t specify its out-of-bundle data rate.

Capitec Connect is the cheapest across the board, charging R0.90 per minute for voice calls, R0.045 per MB of data, and R0.25 per SMS.

The table below compares five MVNOs’ and Cell C’s out-of-bundle rates.

Out-of-bundle rates
Network Voice calls Data SMS
Capitec Connect R0.90 R0.045 R0.25
Cell C R1.50 R0.50 R0.50
FNB Connect R1.40 R0.20 R0.50
Mr Price Mobile R0.99 R0.50 Not specified
Shoprite K’nect R0.99 Not specified Not specified
Standard Bank Mobile R1.29 R0.49 R0.60

Data price shootout

Capitec Connect offers the lowest data prices up to 1GB, with its flat rate of R0.045 per MB, working out to R4.50 for 100MB, R22.50 for 500MB, and R45.00 for 1GB.

It also competes relatively well for 2GB bundle pricing. The bank’s MVNO charges R90 for 2GB, while Cell C and Shoprite K’nect charge R85 and R75, respectively.

For those with a Shoprite Money Market account, the retailer’s MVNO will be cheaper than the rest, bar Capitec Connect’s 100MB, regarding data prices.

This is because Shoprite Money Market account holders receive a 50% discount on data bundle purchases up to 2GB.

The customers will pay R5 for 100MB, R17.50 for 500MB, R19.50 for 1GB, and R37.50 for 2GB.

Although the discount doesn’t apply to larger bundles, Shoprite K’nect’s 5GB bundle is already the cheapest of the lot at R149.

Mr Price Mobile is the most expensive, with 100MB and 1GB bundles priced at R20 and R89, respectively.

Standard Bank is the most expensive for 500MB, 2GB, and 5GB bundles, with the latter costing R299 — R50 more than the next cheapest option, FNB Connect.

A comparison of prepaid data bundles ranging from 100MB to 5GB (6GB on Cell C) is summarised in the table below.

Prepaid data price comparison
Network 100MB 500MB 1GB 2GB 5GB
Capitec Connect R4.50 R22.50 R45.00 R90.00 R225.00
Cell C* R19.00 R35.00 R65.00 R85.00 R199.00*
FNB Connect R19.00 R39.00 R59.00 R109.00 R249.00
Mr Price Mobile R20.00 R59.00 R89.00
Shoprite K’nect** R5.00/R10.00 R17.50/R35.00 R19.50/R39.00 R37.50/R75.00 R149.00
Standard Bank Mobile R69.00 R79.00 R139.00 R299.00
*Cell C offers free Nite Data equal to 50% of the bundle for data bundles of 2GB or higher. i.e. the 2GB bundle also gives 1GB of Nite Data. Also, Cell C doesn’t sell a 5GB bundle, so we have included the pricing for its 6GB bundle with 3GB of Nite Data.
**Shoprite Money Market customers get a 50% discount on K’nect data bundles up to 2GB.

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Capitec and Shoprite K’nect beat Cell C and FNB