Vodacom wants to sell data like it did prepaid customers in South Africa

Vodacom has plans to start aggressively attacking the mobile data market, starting with a tariff cut. According to the group's commercial director, Romeo Khumalo, the company wants to start doing to the data market what it did with pre-paid solutions. Speaking at the unveiling of the much anticipated Blackberry Storm last week, he noted that the company was going to lower prices to go after more pre-paid customers.

The company's price shift will be implemented both on the new Research in Motion Blackberry product, as well as the data market in general. Khumalo noted that Vodacom's plan was to “aggressively” move on the market, with a particular focus on affordability. “The success we had with our pre-paid solution, we want to replicate with mobile Internet,” he added.

The release of the latest Blackberry smart phone is already showing signs of Vodacom's decision to drop rates. According to Khumalo, the R59 per month rate, for access to the Blackberry services, which used to be for pre-paid users only, has now become available to contract holders.

Customers hoping to buy the phone without contract subscription will be looking a little bleak, with the Blackberry Storm coming in at R8,500. For the enterprise, the services have dropped from R138 per month, to R98 per month. Research in Motion (RIM) sub-Saharan Africa director Deon Liebenberg said: “We are basing our predictions of success on the number of Vodacom's users. We are going to drive this through pre-paid.”


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