8ta adds fuel to broadband price war in South Africa


South Africa is beginning to see the kind of data price competition that successfully lowered prices in countries like Kenya. Details have appeared this week in a report from Tech Central.

South Africa’s newest cellular network, 8ta, owned by Telkom, is upping the ante in the ongoing mobile broadband price wars by offering prepaid users a data bundle consisting of 3GB of data for R149. The bundle will be available to both existing and new 8ta prepaid customers from Sunday.

The product consists of 2GB for daytime usage and 1GB for use between midnight and 5am. Vishal Phlad, executive for mobile products and services at 8ta says the new data bundle comes in the wake of the success of its 10GB for R199/month post-paid offer. Phlad says 8ta “saw the need for a similar prepaid offer” but that it had only come to market now because “it was simply a matter of finding the right timing”.

As with 8ta’s 10GB postpaid offer, the new bundle only applies to 8ta’s own network, and doesn’t allow users to roam on MTN’s network as they can if they are only using voice services. Phlad says this concession was “one of the requirements of making the bundle viable”.

This does, however, mean that existing prepaid subscribers may wish to consider getting an additional 8ta Sim card for data purposes, as voice subscribers using the package will be limited to 8ta’s network for both voice and data coverage should they activate the bundle.

Once a user has purchased the R149 bundle it will remain valid until the end of the month following the purchase, so the bundle’s validity period may be as long as 60 days, depending when the user activates it.