Last month Vodacom came to an agreement with the Competition Commission regarding data prices. South Africans have endured some of the highest data prices on the continent for years, and we’ve finally seen action. One of the stipulations in the agreement is that a 1GB bundle of data cannot cost more than R99.
In a statement last month Vodacom said that it would cut data prices by “up to 40%,” and now they have released their updated prices for data bundles. They are as follows:
Vodacom will provide zero-rated (read free) access to essential services through its ConnectU service plan. It provides content that aids in social development, education and opportunity for the vulnerable, offering a variety of essential service at no cost. “Learners and students enrolled in schools and universities can access relevant information for free, with no data costs. The ConnectU portal includes a search engine linked to open sources such as Wikipedia and Wiktionary as well as free access to job portals; free educational content on the e-School platform; free health and wellness information; and free access to Facebook Flex, the low data alternative to Facebook that enables customers to stay socially connected.”
These price cuts will save their customers, at current usage, around R2.7 billion per year.
Other telecoms companies in South Africa have already taken notice. Even though these lower rates are mandated in the agreement with the Competition Commission, it will certainly drive others to lower their prices in accordance. If not, you can be sure many customers will flock to the lower Vodacom rates.
When announcing the new prices, Vodacom said that these reductions “complement the discounted bundle offers that will also be made available to prepaid customers in more than 2 000 less affluent suburbs and villages around the country.”