It’s not so much a price war among South Africa’s mobile network operators as it is a “necessary levelling”, the chief executive of Cell C’s wholesale business, Bjorn Flormann, said at AfricaCom 2013 in Cape Town on Tuesday, 12 November 2013.
The question was raised after Flormann said that “price war markets” were not ideal for virtual mobile network operators. An example of such an operator in South Africa is Virgin Mobile, which is a virtual operator running atop Cell C.
According to Flormann, he was “pretty shocked” when he retuned to South Africa to find how high mobile costs were in term of gross domestic product per capita.
What has happened in South Africa recently was about “getting prices to more acceptable consumer level,” Flormann said. “Getting it to where it should be.”
Cell C launched disruptive mobile data promotions in 2010, which it followed up with a 99c per minute call rate (billed per second) and a 15c/MB “out-of-bundle” data rate in 2012.
This was most recently followed by a launch from Mweb, offering very competitive prices on mobile data bundles of 2GB and less which run on the Cell C network.
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Jan Vermeulen is a guest of Cisco at AfricaCom 2013