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South African data prices static for two years but consumers not flocking to cheapest product offering

Type of Resource:
Policy brief

Year of Publication:

- Solutions or Strategies
- Trends

- Internet Access, Affordability And Use

Author(s): ResearchICTAfrica

Trends: The price of 1GB of data in South Africa from dominant operators has remained consistent at between R149 and R160 for 8 quarters. Despite offering 1GB for R99, Telkom appears unable to exert pricing pressure on the other operators. Innovative mobile bundles that offer more value for money, usually with large volume discounts, tend to have complex cost structures and conversion strategies. Vodacom has the largest data revenue at R21 billion in 2017, while Cell C has managed to bring in R15 billion in the same period thanks to handsome data growth. Solutions: Policymakers and regulators should be exploring ways of immediately reducing some of the cost drivers associated with the broadband services in the country. These include:making available unused spectrum to communities and entities wishing to offer low-cost services; enabling the deployment of dynamic spectrum technologies on the vastly underutilised spectrum available in rural areas and which can be deployed at a fraction of the cost of GSM services; and fast tracking the roll out of public Wi-Fi, as mandated by SA Connect, particularly to schools where the social and economic multipliers are greater for communities and particularly beyond the major metropolitan areas so all citizens can harness the benefits of the Internet.


Region of Study:

Country of Study:
South Africa,

Study Quality