Uncapped mobile data vs fibre — 10Mbps to 100Mbps

South Africans without fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) coverage or other fixed-line options have a wide range of uncapped LTE and 5G mobile data products to choose from, often at similar or cheaper prices.

Rain started to make a name for itself by being the first mobile network operator to offer uncapped data packages at prices that were considered affordable to many mobile users.

It also became the first to launch a commercial 5G network in the country, offering home users unprecedented speeds above 500Mbps at R999 per month, much more affordable than most comparable fibre products on the market at the time.

In recent years, more established mobile players such as MTN and Telkom have also joined in with their own uncapped data offerings.

MTN, in particular, launched a range of uncapped fixed-LTE products with set speeds of 10Mbps, 20Mbps, and 30Mbps at affordable prices towards the end of 2021.

Not long after that, it followed up with 50Mbps and 100Mbps uncapped 5G packages.

Some of these packages are also resold through Afrihost and Axxess, giving customers the option to buy the packages on a month-to-month basis instead of entering into a long-term contract.

That means customers can cancel packages without a substantial penalty should fibre become available in their area while they have an uncapped mobile data product and wish to switch.

Unfortunately, radio frequency spectrum is still very limited in South Africa, which means mobile networks can suffer heavy congestion if they allow uninhibited use of data.

That means they either have to make uncapped packages relatively expensive to keep the number of users down to a manageable level or implement strict fair usage policies (FUPs) that encourage moderate use of data.

For example, while Axxess offers an uncapped MTN LTE package with speeds of up to 10Mbps for R299, cheaper than comparable symmetric fibre packages, it comes with a low FUP of 50GB.

After the user consumes this data, their connection speed is reduced to 2Mbps.

Nevertheless, this might be sufficient for those who don’t stream and might only require an uncapped package to stay online for work and web browsing.

Fibre packages generally don’t have this limitation as operators are typically not limited by capacity.

Only in exceptional circumstances, such as when certain users abuse their connections to the detriment of others, do they tend to act with an acceptable use policy.

Mobile data vs fibre prices

In the table below, we compared the prices of the cheapest uncapped symmetric and asymmetric fibre packages from major providers and ISPs with affordable uncapped mobile data packages.

The speeds that were available with both types of connections ranged from 10Mbps to 100Mbps.

Uncapped mobile data vs fibre — Prices compared
Speed ISP Download/Upload Type FUP Price
10Mbps
Openserve Web Connect 10Mbps MWEB 10/5Mbps Fibre None R299
MTN Uncapped LTE 10Mbps Axxess Up to 10/10Mbps Mobile — LTE After first 50GB usage:
Speeds drop down to 2Mbps
R299
Rain Unlimited 4G 24/7 Rain Up to 10/10Mbps Mobile — LTE Video streaming capped at 360p R479
MyMTN Home Uncapped 10Mbps MTN Up to 10/10Mbps Mobile — LTE After first 400GB usage:
Speeds drop down to 2Mbps
R499
SamrtBroadband Wireless Unlimited All Hours Telkom Up to 10/10Mbps Mobile — LTE After 250GB usage:
Speeds drop down to 4Mbps
After 300GB usage:
Speeds drop down to 4Mbps
R749
20Mbps
MTN Uncapped LTE 20Mbps Axxess Up to 20/20Mbps Mobile — LTE After first 100GB usage:
Speeds drop down to 2Mbps
R349
Openserve Web Connect 20/10Mbps MWEB 20/10Mbps Fibre None R369
MyMTN Home Uncapped LTE 20Mbps MTN Up to 20/20Mbps Mobile — LTE After first 600GB usage:
Speeds drop down to 4Mbps
R699
25Mbps
Openserve 25Mbps Telkom 25/5Mbps Fibre None R399
Openserve 25Mbps Telkom 25/25Mbps Fibre None R449
Rain 5G Basic Rain Up to 25/25Mbps Mobile — 5G Video streaming capped at 720p R499
30Mbps
Frogfoot 30Mbps Afrihost 30/3Mbps Fibre None R527
Frogfoot 30Mbps Afrihost 30/30Mbps Fibre None R627
MyMTN Home Wi-Fi MTN Up to 30/30Mbps Mobile — LTE After first 700GB usage:
Speeds drop down to 4Mbps
R699
50Mbps
Herotel 50Mbps Herotel 50/50Mbps Fibre None R499
MTN Uncapped LTE 50Mbps Axxess Up to 50/50Mbps Mobile — LTE After first 250GB usage:
Speeds drop down to 2Mbps
R549
Frogfoot 50Mbps MWEB 50/5Mbps Fibre None R659
Rain 5G Standard Rain Up to 50/50Mbps Mobile — 5G Video streaming capped at 1080p R699
MyMTN Home Uncapped 50Mbps MTN Up to 50/50Mbps Mobile — 5G After first 1TB usage:
Speeds drop down to 4Mbps
R999
100Mbps
MTN Uncapped LTE 100Mbps Axxess Up to 100/100Mbps Mobile — LTE After first 500GB usage:
Speeds drop down to 2Mbps
R749
Openserve 100Mbps MWEB 100/10Mbps Fibre None R799
Herotel 100Mbps Herotel 100/100Mbps Fibre None R849
MyMTN Home Uncapped 100Mbps MTN Up to 100/100Mbps Mobile — 5G After first 2TB usage:
Speeds drop down to 4Mbps
R1,099

Now read: Openserve offering free 20Mbps uncapped fibre for 30 days

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Uncapped mobile data vs fibre — 10Mbps to 100Mbps