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    DataMustFall: Here’s why SA’s mobile operators slashed data rates


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    Vodacom this month reduced some of its data bundles by up to 14% as “part of its ongoing commitment to reduce the cost to communicate and connect more people in the digital economy”.

    “Our purpose is to connect for a better future and ensure that no one is left behind in this new digital age. It is one of the most critical ways we believe we can create a more equal society for all”.

    Jorge Mendes, Chief Officer of Vodacom’s Consumer Business.

    The changes follow several months South Africa’s major mobile operators were ordered by the Competition Commission (CompCom) to reduce data rates.

    Data Must Fall: What you need to know

    Vodacom data rates

    These prices were slashed to “promote digital inclusion” for Vodacom’s 43 million customers. As per a recent press release, Vodacom reduced rates for 30-day data bundles:

    • A 30-day 1GB bundle will now cost R85 (Down from R99)
    • The re-introduced 30-day 2GB bundle will cost R159
    • 50MB, 3GB, 5GB, 10GB and 20GB 30-day bundles rates remain unchanged
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    Chief Officer of Vodacom’s Consumer Business, Jorge Mendes, explains Vodacom had for years now remained relentless and consistent “to democratise access”.

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    This was done by slashing mobile prices. The aim now is to further reduce these prices “to ensure customer are constantly connected on South Africa’s leading network”.

    MTN data rates

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    MTN also reduced rates for bundles up to 1GB. The monthly 1GB bundle will now cost R99. The company also announced a new fixed LTE (long-term evolution) plan with a price point of R269 for R120GB.

    Chief consumer officer of MTN SA, Mapula Bodibe, also explained that the company’s “commitment is to drive connectivity to support the growing work-from-home world through multiple entry points and channels.”

    “Established, young and growing businesses looking for acceleration will also benefit, as will those seeking to connect remote branches.”

    Telkom data rates

    Telkom, for its part, also launched a new prepaid tariff plan – Thola More – to replace the current SIM Sonke plan. The new tariff plan includes additional data, as well as extra calling and messaging benefits.

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    With this plan, Telkom’s prepaid customers will get additional benefits, such as data, SMSes and Telkom-to-Telkom voice call minutes. Telkom’s executive of mobile products and services, Andrew Dawson, explains:

    “Essentially, customers will be also rewarded with free all-network data, on-net minutes and SMSes as specified in the product offer, every time they recharge with R5 or more”.

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    Moreover, Dawson adds that the Thola More tariff plan “is in line with [Telkom’s] data-led consumer strategy, which is a response to the ever-changing data needs of our customers”.

    Also read: Here are the best and worst mobile networks in SA Protection Status

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