South Africa’s second-largest mobile operator, MTN, has announced that it will drop data prices for its 30-day bundles by up to 50 per cent from mid-April. READ ALSO: Zenith General Insurance Partners MTN
Joined by the Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, the operator made the announcement at a briefing held at its headquarters in Johannesburg.
Making public the plans of the company on Friday, MTN South Africa CEO, Godfrey Motsa, said that the cost of a 1GB monthly data bundle, which has been the subject of much scrutiny by regulators will fall from 149 Rand to 99 Rand.
Dismissing claims that the company may make a U-turn on its decision, Motsa, assuring subscribers, said: “We won’t charge more than that.”
MTN also disclosed that it will provide each of its customers 20MB of free data daily or the equivalent of 600MB per customer every month, as part of its lifeline data package.
The mobile network provider also revealed that this would be made possible through its instant messaging platform, Ayoba, which currently has 500,000 customers in the country.
MTN said it will announce further cuts for businesses and their other services. This comes after a two-year investigation by the Competition Commission which saw it release its data services market inquiry report in December 2019.
The report stated that MTN and Vodacom had to independently reach an agreement with the regulator on substantially reducing data prices within two months of the release of the report.
According to the commission, there was scope for price reductions of 30 to 50 per cent. The competition watchdog gave the two dominant mobile phone operators two months to slash internet connectivity prices or face prosecution. This deadline was subsequently extended to the start of March 2020.
MTN has 29-million subscribers on its network and has been working to grow its data revenues. For the financial year to end-December 2019, MTN made R12.6bn in revenue from its data services in SA.
It is unknown if the Nigeria Communications Commission, NCC, would tow the same line as their South African counterpart and ensure that the South African-owned outfit provides Nigerians value for their money.