Competition Commission confirms agreement with MTN over data prices

The Competition Commission has reached an agreement with MTN regarding the reduction of its data prices.

The agreement includes the reduction of the pricing of 30-day prepaid bundles of up to 1GB of data – which will now cost R99.

According to the agreement, these new prices must be implemented as of 1 May, although MTN already implemented these changes earlier this month.

The agreement follows the publication of the final report of the Data Services Market Inquiry in December last year.

The Commission implemented the inquiry to investigate factors or features of the market that have historically led to what it labels as “high prices for data services”.

Benefits of the agreement

As part of the new agreement, MTN will also offer all customers a daily free data bundle to use in Ayoba, a free messaging app for Android devices. This bundle will be capped at 20MB per day.

MTN has already implemented this daily lifeline package from 12 March, but will also implement the Ayoba browser functionality as part of this package following the new agreement.

Additionally, MTN will offer all customers zero-rated access to certain public benefit organisation (PBO) and other websites.

This list will comprise a maximum of 500 websites and will focus on education, healthcare, and job recruitment through MTN’s own websites.

This will be capped at 500MB per month per customer.

All operators have complied with Competition Commission

“The confirmation of the agreement with MTN means that all mobile operators have now formally ascribed to the voluntary commitments contained in the recommendations of the Data Market Inquiry for short-term price relief to consumers,” said competition commissioner Tembinkosi Bonakele.

“This successful conclusion of the first phase of recommendations could not have come at a better time given the greater reliance the public has on data during the crisis.”

“The Commission can now turn to focus on the medium-term recommendations around regulatory and legislative change, as well as the development of free public Wi-Fi and alternative broadband infrastructure.”

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Competition Commission confirms agreement with MTN over data prices