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Data Prices Must Fall

by | Jun 3, 2020 | Personal Finance

In early December last year, the Competition Commission released a report which found that data prices in South Africa are way too high. South Africans are paying per gig – more than most other African countries. In fact, Minster of trade and industry, Ebrahim Patel described our data prices as “anti –poor”. Well at least that is something we agree on!

Data Prices Must Fall

These days data is not a luxury, it is a necessity. It keeps us connected and is a vital part of our daily lives.

Though we do use data for recreational social media interaction like Facebook and Instagram, that is not the core of our online presence.

Most school and bursary applications are done online. Distance learning is done on-line. Children use the internet for assignments which counts towards their examination mark. Vacancies are posted and replied to online. Businesses are run online. We receive statements , notifications and all our info online, We buy, sell and get paid online. EVERYTHING is done on-line!

More importantly we keep in touch, online. With the world being as violently crazy as it is, as a mother I would lose my mind if I could not keep tabs on my children’s whereabouts (especially via Whatsapp). This costs data – for me and for them – and data costs money.

Sadly, it is the poorer sector of society who is paying more for data. Think about it – if you had a steady job with a monthly income and a clear credit record, you could apply for a cellphone contract. However, if you don’t – then you will be buying prepaid airtime and data at far higher prices than what contract customers are paying.

The poor are being penalized while the rich profit and prosper!

***If there is space, put this in*****In 2019,MTN CEO, Rob Shuter earned R42.92 million, including a basic salary of R15.28 million and bonuses and other benefits exceeding R26 million

VODACOM CEO, Shameel Joosub took home a pre-tax paycheck of R38.3 million. (Down from R50.3 million in 2018)**********************

Sebastien Alexanderson, CEO of NDA says that the amount included for data in the household budgets of consumers is on the rise. “ It is a fact, that those who can least afford to pay hundreds of rands on data every month, are the ones having to do it. People should not be faced with the choice of electricity or connectivity – and currently with loadshedding, many have neither!”

I have compared some data prices across the 4 major networks and discovered the following:

Vodacom data pricing

PREPAID

Once-off prepaid
• 1GB
• R149

CONTRACT

24 month
• 1GB
• R79 per month

12 month
• 1GB
• R89 per month

Once-off bundle
• 1GB
• R149

_________________________________________________

MTN data pricing

PREPAID

 

30 Days
• R149
• Valid 1 month / 1 bill-cycle

CONTRACT

24 month
• My MTNChoice 1GB
• R69 per month
• 1GB Anytime
• + 1GB Night express
__________________________________________________________

Cell-C data pricing

CONTRACT

SmartData 1GB
• R79 per month x 12 or 24 months
• Inclusive Monthly Nite Data 1GB
• Inclusive Monthly Anytime Data 1GB

PREPAID

Unlike any other data bundles, these bundles do not expire for as long as you buy another data bundle within the validity period. Your data will be carried over to the new validity date.

30 Days
• R100
• 30 days
• Includes 2GB Nite Data
_______________________________________________________

Telcom data pricing

PREPAID

Once-off
• 1GB Anytime data
• + 1GB Night Surfer Data (Midnight – 7am)
• Valid for up to 2 months
• R100

CONTRACT

Mobile Data 1GB
• 1GB Anytime Data
• 1GB Night Surfer Data (Midnight – 7am)
• R40 per month x 24 months

***This comparison is simply for the sake of pricing and does not take network coverage or network “specials” into account.

What we can see from here though, is that pre-paid customers are paying a lot more than contract customers

Dear Competition Commission – please start showing us results instead of reports and get your suggestions to the cellphone giants implemented so that it assists the people struggling at ground level.

We are tired of reports. We want action. Data prices must fall!
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