Melon Mobile launches packages with free voice calls

Melon Mobile, a mobile virtual network operator leveraging MTN’s network, has joined the ranks of South African telecommunications providers offering effectively free voice calls.

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The company announced on Tuesday that it will provide unlimited calls and texts bundled with data, with prices starting at just R199 per month. These plans closely resemble MTN’s SuperFlex tariff plans, recently introduced by the operator, but include several new options, notably a 50GB/month plan.

Melon Mobile emphasized the flexibility of its plans, allowing customers to select the most suitable options without concerns about hidden fees or data depletion when it’s needed most.

The core feature of each plan is a data bundle ranging from 5GB to 50GB, coupled with unlimited voice calls and texts. The table below outlines Melon Mobile’s “Big Summer Breakup” tariff plans, valid until at least the end of April 2024:

  • 5GB for R199, featuring unlimited voice calls and texts.
  • 10GB for R299, including unlimited voice calls and texts.
  • 15GB for R399, with unlimited voice calls and texts.
  • 25GB for R499, offering unlimited voice calls and texts.
  • 50GB for R599, with unlimited voice calls and texts.

As virtual operators, MVNOs like Melon Mobile lack physical infrastructure and depend on network operators like MTN and Cell C for infrastructure support.

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) mandated that telecom network operators, including Vodacom and MTN, establish MVNO “enablement” platforms as a prerequisite for securing spectrum in the 2022 spectrum auction.