Hot on the heels of Cell C’s launch of the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S, Vodacom announced that it would start offering the iPhone on its new Smart Plans.
These new deals from Vodacom are somewhat cheaper than the iPhone-specific contracts that preceded them, though they tend to include less data. The old iPhone Talk 120 and Talk 250 contracts in particular have 100 SMSes and 500MB data bundles with them.
However, Cell C offers 300MB additional data on their Straight Up contracts for iPhones, which trounces Vodacom’s previous iPhone contract offerings.
Vodacom’s new Smart Plans for iPhone offer better competition to Cell C, but a direct comparison remains tricky due to the complexity of Vodacom’s contracts.
While Cell C offers only anytime minutes, Vodacom includes promotional airtime for Vodacom-to-Vodacom (on-net) calls, as well as “More weekend” minutes that are only valid on Saturdays and Sundays when making calls to other Vodacom subscribers.
It is worth noting that Cell C lets subscribers opt for top-up over an open contract at no extra cost, as well as choose contract lengths shorter than 24 months. There are exceptions, however, which are indicated with an asterisk in the comparison below:
|Cell C Straight Up vs Vodacom Smart Plan iPhone pricing|
|16GB iPhone 4S|
|Vodacom Smart Light||75 off-peak, 20 promo||100||100MB||R319|
|Cell C Straight Up 50*||50 anytime||50||350MB||R329|
|Cell C Straight Up 100||100 anytime||100||400MB||R433|
|Cell C Straight Up 100 upsized||100 anytime||220||400MB||R467|
|Vodacom Smart Standard||130 anytime, 60 promo, 60 More weekend||300||300MB||R469|
|Cell C Straight Up 200||200 anytime||200||500MB||R479|
|32GB iPhone 4S|
|Cell C Straight Up 30||30 anytime||30||330MB||R421|
|Cell C Straight Up 100||100 anytime||100||400MB||R491|
|Cell C Straight Up 100 upsized||100 anytime||220||400MB||R525|
|Vodacom Smart Standard||130 anytime, 60 promo, 60 More weekend||300||300MB||R529|
|Cell C Straight Up 200*||200 anytime||200||500MB||R549|
|64GB iPhone 4S|
|Cell C Straight Up 30||30 anytime||30||330MB||R484|
|Cell C Straight Up 100 upsized||100 anytime||400||400MB||R629|
|Cell C Straight Up 200||200 anytime||200||500MB||R654|
|Cell C Straight Up 400*||400 anytime||400||700MB||R854|
|Vodacom Smart Advanced||450 anytime, 180 promo, 180 More weekend||400||400MB||R799|
|* Not available through Cell C contract builder. No top-up option available.|
Another complex element of Vodacom’s contracts are their out-of-bundle costs. Cell C offers equal peak and off-peak rates that remain the same regardless of which contract you’re on, whereas Vodacom’s rates change with the different packages.
Vodacom also charges different per-minute prices for voice calls depending on whether it is to a different network, as shown in the table below:
|Out-of-bundle rates||Cell C Straight Up||Vodacom Smart Light||Vodacom Smart Standard||Vodacom Smart Advanced|
|Peak to other network||R0.99||R2.70||R1.99||R1.54|
|Off-peak to other network||R0.99||R0.95||R1.99||R1.54|
|SMS – peak||R0.50||R0.80||R0.80||R0.80|
|SMS – off-peak||R0.50||R0.35||R0.35||R0.35|