South African mobile contract user? What contract will give you the best value for money?

The year 2016 has kicked off with South Africa’s smallest operators offering consumers excellent contract value. As of the beginning of 2016 there are 96 basic contracts in the market (without devices) which are then adapted to include devices. These contracts have been analysed using Research ICT Africa’s postpaid value index (PVI). 

Consumers care about price – no-one wants to be ripped off by their mobile service provider. Based on the prices of south Africa’s contracts in Quarter 1 2016 (sim only contracts) and ten price brackets ranking from under R50.00 to over R1000 Table 1 highlights the best value contracts in the south African market.

Excluding devices, below is a list of the number one product in each price bracket. These are the products that will offer you the most bang for your buck in conjunction with their features.

  • Under R50.00 –  Me and You mobile’s R25.00 a month product offers R50 “free” airtime and 100mb of data for just 25.00 a month excluding a once off connection cost of R29.
  • Between R50 and R100 – Cell C’s Epic 150 contract which consists of 150 airtime, at a monthly cost of 99 rand with an in and out of bundle rate of R1.89  is the best contract in this price range. This rate is high and if all the airtime were used on voice calls it translates to 79.36 minutes in total.
  • Between R100 and R150 – Cell C’s EPIC 200 consists of R200 airtime at a cost of 129 per month with a rate of R1.89 per minute and 50.00 cents per sms. This plan does not include data.
  • Between R150 and R250 – Cell C’s Smart Chat 3GB contains 75 any network minutes and 3GB of data per month. The out of bundle rate per month is R1.50. and SMSs cost R0.50.
  • Between R250 and R350 – Cell C’s Epic 500 consists of R500 airtime  priced at R339 per month. Once again the out of bundle rate is R1.89.
  • Between R350 and R450 – Cell C’s Smart Chat 6GB consists of 100 minutes and 6GB of data priced at R449 per month. The out of bundle rate on this plan is R1.5 per minute.
  • Between R450 and R600 – Cell C’s Smart Chat 8GB consists of 150 minutes and 8GB of data for R599 per month. Calls are charged at R1.50 per minute.
  • Between R600 and R800 – Cell C’s Epic 1000 consists of R1000 airtime priced at R699 per month. The cost of a call is R1.89 per minute and R0.5 for an SMS.   
  • Between R800 and R1000 – Telkom Mobile’s Completely Unlimited sim only product offers 10 GB of data, unlimited calls and unlimited SMSs for only R999 per month.
  • Over R1000 – if you are a user that spends over R1000 – you should consider revising your price bracket down. Both Cell C and Telkom Mobile offer unlimited products R400 cheaper than MTNs My Sky Unlimited product.

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Cell C, me and You mobile and Telkom mobile offer the highest contract values in the south african market. The table above shows alternative choices for contract users by listing the second and third value products in each price range. A simple search for the plan on the operators website should provide details on these products, but users should take care of high in bundle and out of bundle rates.

The price of most of Vodacom’s and MTN’s plans have increased this quarter and Vodacom ranks 4 out of 6 operators in terms of value on the contract market while MTN ranks 5th out of 6 operators.