Telkom's 8ta aims to shake up SA mobile industry

Last night Telkom released the initial pricing for their 8ta mobile network, and boy does it look good. 8ta has a number of small incentives in their prepaid package which immediately makes them the cheapest mobile network in SA.
But first off pricing:
Calls to landlines (this includes Telkom and Neotel) will be 65c per minute, at all times during the day. Calls to another cellphone is R1.50 per minute (this can be to Vodacom, MTN, Cell C or 8ta), again at a flat rate all day. International rate – 8ta will charge R2.50 per minute to more than a 100 countries (isnt that much less than Telkom’s fixed line rates?). What is perhaps more significant is the call incentive that 8ta uses – for every 3 seconds of incoming calls, you get 1 sec to phone out. FINALLY – a reason to keep that telemarketer on the line!
SMSs and MMSs will both be charged at 50c each – but if a customer sends 5 sms’s in a day, they will get 50 free sms’s in a day. Wonder if a person even needs a prepaid SMS bundle with something like that?
Data costs going to be R1 per meg if a user does not use a bundle, which is already half of what Vodacom charges, but their data bundle pricing also seems to improve on existing offerings:
1GB for R250, 500MB for R150, 250MB for R100, 100MB for R50. Great. These can be accessed at 7.2 HSPA, but 8ta might also upgrade to LTE in future.
All these pricing details are just for the prepaid users, so we will have to see how their contract pricing will improve on these even further. (Update: 8ta has now announced their contract pricing) Initially 8ta will use their own network as well as use a roaming agreement using MTN basestations, so clearly the Vodacom Telkom breakup was nasty. So reception should not be a problem.
So only time will tell how Vodacom and MTN will compete with this pricing – if the recent iPhone launch is anything to go by, Vodacom and MTN clearly have some flexibility in their prices. When MTN announced their lower end deal on the iPhone 4, Vodacom had to go and lower their initial iPhone 4 pricing as well 2 days later. Competition is a great thing.
Also, how will 8ta compete with Cell C’s latest mobile broadband offerings? We tested it, and it pretty much blows away the competition in SA.
But I am sure most people are still wondering how on earth Telkom can offer these good deals for mobile, yet their fixed line service pricing has remained overpriced and stagnant. We can only hope that they approach their fixed line business with the same new found vigour…