Rain Mobile

South Africa’s mobile data prices to be cut down… “soon”

#DataMustFall may have fallen on deaf ears but help is coming… well, soon enough.

Rain Mobile

Do you find yourself spending a huge amount of your money on data? Well, you may be in luck as Telecoms minister Siyabonga Cwele announced that South Africans will soon be paying less for mobile data.

That is if you consider twelve months from now soon enough.

“We have spoken to the minister of economic development as well as the Competition Commission regarding this inquiry into data costs and by August next year we will have reached a conclusion on the matter,” Cwele said.

The department of Telecommunications and Postal Services tasked Icasa with looking into the cost of data in the country and making recommendations.

Data costs have long been a contentious issue in the country.  A single gig of data will set you back as much as R160 on MTN.

So much for Africa’s biggest mobile operator.

Data prices in SA remain the most expensive out of all Africa’s leading economies and despite public outcry, there has been no adjustment in these prices.

To give a bit of context, the cost of 1GB data in Kenya on average is R62 while in Egypt a gig will cost you R15.20.

Despite steep prices, MTN and Vodacom enjoy a massive chunk of the market share. Cell C and Telkom have considerably less, despite the latter’s relatively affordable data costs.

However Telkom has seen steady growth in consumers over the last two years.

Last month Icasa signalled led a small step towards addressing the issue of unfair billing. The watchdog published new draft regulations over mobile networks out-of-bundle billing practices, this along with expiry dates for data bundles.

Also  read: Regulations on the expiry of data bundles expected by end October

This means that the consumer has a choice to opt out of being billed out-of-bundle instead of the network just taking liberties with their (consumer) airtime.

This also states that operators must notify consumers of the data bundle’s expiry date a week prior and also provide an option to roll over unused data.