Vodacom lowers data prices by up to 40% in line with competition authority agreement
Vodacom has cut more mobile data prices by up to 40% from April 1.
In March, the network operator said it had reached an agreement with competition authorities to reduce prices across all of its data bundles starting from April.
The agreement followed a two-year investigation by the Competition Commission, which found that the cost of mobile data was too high for SA consumers. It called on MTN and Vodacom to cut their data prices by 30%-50% or face prosecution.
Vodacom, the country's largest mobile operator with about 44-million subscribers, was the first to cut its prices. A week later MTN said it would lower prices by up to 50% from mid-April.
Vodacom has cut the cost of its 1GB monthly bundle, which was closely scrutinised by the commission, from R149 to R99, a 34% reduction.
On Wednesday, Vodacom said other price changes included:
• 20GB reduced by 31% to R699;
• 3GB down by 23% to R229;
• 500MB reduced by 21% to R79; and
• 50MB down by 40% to R12.
Vodacom is expected to lose up to R2.7bn over the next year due to the data-price cuts. Hover, it said it expected to recover the lost revenue over time as more users connect to the internet.
Data makes up about 44% of Vodacom's service revenue or 30% of total revenue, accounting for about R27.3bn a year.
Jorge Mendes, chief officer of Vodacom’s consumer business unit, said: “We are committed to doing whatever we can to help customers stay connected. Since we started our pricing transformation strategy three years ago, our customers have benefited from significant reductions in data prices and the cost of voice calls.”
“Over the same period, we invested over R26bn in infrastructure and new technologies, so our customers enjoy wider 2G, 3G and 4G coverage and vastly increased data speeds,” he said in a statement.
The company said the latest data reductions “will complement the discounted bundle offers that will also be made available to prepaid customers in more than 2,000 less affluent suburbs and villages about the country.”
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