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The new mobile operator backed by prominent businessmen Patrice Motsepe, Paul Harris and Michael Jordaan is taking the fight over data prices to sector giants Vodacom and MTN. Rain, a data-only network operator that launched mobile services two weeks ago, wanted to win over its rivals’ heavy data users with a simpler offering and competitive prices, CEO Willem Roos said. Amid a decline in traditional voice revenues and public scrutiny over connectivity costs, data is becoming a major battleground for SA’s telecommunications companies, and the market is ballooning – Vodacom, MTN, Cell C and Telkom generated a combined R47bn in data revenues in SA in their financial years ended December and March.

Rain does not offer traditional voice services, but sells data for R50 a gigabyte, while outside of peak evening hours, its customers can use unlimited data for R250 a month, according to Roos, the former CEO of Outsurance. In the two weeks since launching the product, "our business vo...

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