MTN will soon slash its data prices after reaching a settlement with the Competition Commission.
In December, the commission released its Data Services Market Inquiry final report, which recommended the two mobile network operators (MTN and Vodacom) reach an agreement within a two-month period with the commission to reduce data prices. This in particular pertained to monthly bundles and to address the structure of data pricing, reducing the cost per MB for smaller sub-1GB bundles relative to the 1GB price.
“The report also recommended that these operators reach agreement with the commission on other pro-poor measures within three months, and these included free data and zero rating of public benefit organisations,” the Competition Commission’s Sipho Ngema said at the time.
“The consent agreement is entered into in full and final settlement of the findings in the final report of the DSMI that MTN charged high prepaid data prices in South Africa,” the Commission said it in its statement on Thursday, 26 June 2020.
MTN has since decided to reduce the price of 30-day prepaid bundles up to 1GB, with the 1GB monthly bundle being reduced to R99.
In addition, from 1 May 2020, the mobile telecommunication company will implement the retail price reductions across all its retail channels, communicate these reductions to all channel partners, and apply these new prices across its channels.
The network will also offer all its customers a daily free data bundle to use in Ayoba, which will be capped. Ayoba is a messaging app which has been made widely available for Android mobile phone users.
“The Commission noted that MTN revealed that it implemented the daily lifeline package in respect of the Ayoba chat, media and channels functionalities and it will implement the Ayoba browser functionality.”
MTN further said it would offer all its customers zero-rated access to some the country’s Public Benefit Organisations and about 500 websites, focusing on education, healthcare and job recruitment via MTN’s own website, which will be capped at 500MB per month per customer and be subjected to terms and conditions listed in the settlement.
“These websites include health institutions, public universities, Technical and Vocational Education and Training colleges, educational resources, educational institutions and employment portals.”