Over the last few months all of South Africa’s large operators announced price increases on some of their products.
Many of these price increases came as a surprise to subscribers, and in the case of mobile data contracts it was the first time in history that prices were hiked.
Many operators blamed the changing economic environment for the price hikes, which includes a weaker currency and increased input costs.
MTN and Vodacom pointed to Eskom’s load shedding as a major contributor to increased costs, saying they have had to invest in additional generators and back-up batteries to power base stations.
Here is a summary of the telecommunications price increases in South Africa over the last few months.
Cell C contract changes
Cell C was the first company to announce changes to its contract products. The operator also dropped its entire SmartChat product range.
Straight Up contract and top up package pricing increased by 10% on 1 February 2015, while OOB voice rates on Straight Up plans increased from 99c per minute to R1.05 per minute.
Vodacom contract price increases
On 1 May 2015 Vodacom increased the subscription fees on selected contract price plans, which will affect voice and data customers.
The new prices apply to Vodacom Smart, uChoose Smart, uChoose Flexi, Top Up, and Mobile Broadband packages.
MTN price increases
MTN recently announced it will join Cell C and Vodacom in increasing the prices of many of its products, including existing contract packages.
When it revealed the new prices of its various products, MTN said rising input costs compelled it to make these changes.
Telkom line rental price increase
Telkom announced its home line rental prices will increase from R166 per month to R189 per month from 1 May 2015.
Jacqui O’Sullivan, Telkom’s Managing Executive for Group Communication, said the pricing updates are part of Telkom’s rationalisation of products and services.
“Factors that have influenced these fixed-line rental changes include inflation, along with the access line deficit.”