Unlimited calling shootout in South Africa — Priced from R199

Melon Mobile offers the cheapest month-to-month unlimited calling and SMS plan in South Africa, with MTN and FNB also giving unlimited calling for under R400.

Melon Mobile, the digital-focused mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), launched its uncapped calling plans shortly after its roaming partner MTN introduced the disruptive SuperFlex line-up in September 2023.

They consist of three unlimited calling products bundled with 10GB, 15GB, or 20GB monthly mobile data. These are priced at R299, R399, and R499, respectively.

Vodacom followed suit with its own unlimited calls product, PowerFlex, in December 2023. It is priced from R449 per month and bundled with 17GB monthly mobile data.

Before SuperFlex’s launch, unlimited calling plans on major mobile networks were restricted to expensive long-term contracts, usually paired with high amounts of mobile data.

Another MVNO — FNB Connect — has offered its unlimited calls product Talk Max since October 2019.

However, plans do not offer mobile data and require meeting additional eligibility criteria, including a certain percentage of the users’ total call minutes being from incoming calls and a limit on how many unique numbers they can dial in a month.

These are likely to prevent the product from being abused for business usage when it is intended strictly for personal consumption.

MTN’s Superflex, Melon Mobile Uncapped, and Vodacom Powerflex have no such limits, although they are also intended for personal use.

Melon Mobile is showing up big players

Melon Mobile offers products identical to Superflex with the same 10GB and 15GB allocations and prices and three other bundles — unlimited calls with 5GB data for R199, 25GB for R499, or 50GB for R599.

The main downside to Melon Mobile’s product is that subscribers might need to contact its support centre after a certain amount of usage to verify they are not violating the product’s terms and conditions. Should this be confirmed, the users’ allocation will be extended.

However, this is still a much better proposition than Telkom, Cell C, and Rain’s offer.

Telkom’s Infinite plans only provide a limited number of all-network minutes to cover calls to subscribers on other networks.

Its top-end plan priced at R1,099 per month includes 3,000 minutes to all networks. That works out to 1oo minutes or 1 hour and 40 minutes of calling time per day.

It also imposes a fair usage policy that limits on-network calls to 6,000 minutes per month, while SMSs are also limited to 6,000 in a month.

Cell C’s Elevate 4 product, available for R999 per month on a 24-month contract, is also not truly unlimited but has a much more reasonable five hours (300 minutes) of all-network minutes per day.

Rain has no unlimited calling products and is excluded from this comparison.

The table below compares the data allocations, usage conditions, and prices of unlimited calling plans available from major mobile networks and MVNOs in South Africa.

Unlimited calling plans in South Africa
Mobile network Monthly mobile data Voice and SMS limits Price
Melon Mobile Uncapped 5GB 5GB anytime Contact centre request after certain amount of usage. R199
Melon Mobile Uncapped 10GB 10GB anytime Contact centre request after certain amount of usage. R299
MTN Superflex 10GB 10GB anytime None; regular phone / human use only R299
FNB Connect Talk Max None
  • 15% call time must be incoming
  • 120 unique dialled numbers per month
  • At least 50MB mobile data consumed per month
R325
Melon Mobile Uncapped 15GB 15GB anytime Contact centre request after certain amount of usage. R399
MTN Superflex 15GB 15GB anytime None; regular phone / human use only R399
FNB Connect Talk Max Pro None
  • 5% call time must be incoming
  • 200 unique dialled numbers per month
  • At least 100MB mobile data consumed per month
R425
Vodacom Powerflex 17GB 17GB anytime None; regular phone / human use only R449
MTN Superflex 20GB 20GB anytime None; regular phone / human use only R479
Melon Mobile Uncapped 25GB 25GB anytime Contact centre request after certain amount of usage. R499
Vodacom Powerflex 22GB 22GB anytime None; regular phone / human use only R579
Melon Mobile Uncapped 50GB 50GB anytime May require contact centre request after certain amount of usage. R599

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Unlimited calling shootout in South Africa — Priced from R199