MTN makes 79c rate cut permanent

The aggressive move is bad news for Cell C and could kickstart a new price war in South Africa’s mobile industry.

mtn-640

MTN has moved to make permanent its 79c/minute prepaid call tariff, greasing the wheels toward a possible price war in South Africa’s mobile industry and piling the pressure on debt-laden rival Cell C.

“MTN South Africa has lodged the required paperwork with [communications regulator] Icasa to permanise (sic) its highly-publicised 79c all-net rate on its PayAsYouGo pay-per-second price plan,” the mobile operator said in a statement on Thursday evening.

“Our customers require certainty that MTN will maintain the most competitively-priced voice tariffs in the industry – right into the foreseeable future. This is why we have acted swiftly to lodge the required paperwork with Icasa, to give our customers surety that this rate is not merely available on a promotional basis, but is part of our long-term pricing strategy,” the company said.

“Effective 7 May 2014, the 79c rate will be a permanent price plan for our PayAsYouGo customers,” said chief marketing officer Brian Gouldie.

MTN reduced its pay-per-second prepaid price-plan to the flat rate of 79c per minute to all networks, on 14 April 2014, charged on a per-second basis.

Its move puts enormous pressure on Cell C, which used to be able to claim that its 99c/minute tariff was the lowest regulated call rate in South Africa.

Free value-adds included

Value of bundleBundle rateSMSes (to any network)DataMTN-to-MTN minutes (any time)Validity (from recharge)
R779c/minute55MB122 days
R1279c/minute1510MB152 days
R1779c/minute3030MB293 days
R3579c/minute10075MB664 days

Cell C has failed to cut its rates, despite a recent high court judgment that resulted in a 20c/minute cut in call termination rates — the fees operators charge each other to carry calls between their networks — until the end of September. Cell C enjoys “asymmetry” in the rates, whereby MTN and Vodacom pay it 44c/minute to carry calls onto it network. It pays 20c/minute for calls sent in the other direction.

MTN said that prepaid customers on alternative price plans (such as its Zone dynamic tariffing scheme and those on its call-per-second plan), are able to migrate to the 79c deal.  — (c) 2014 NewsCentral Media

Share this article

Why TechCentral?

We know that as a prospective advertiser, you are spoilt for choice. Our job is to demonstrate why TechCentral delivers the best return for your advertising spend.

TechCentral is South Africa’s online technology news leader. We don’t say that lightly. We believe we produce the country’s best and most insightful online tech news aimed at industry professionals and those interested in the fast-changing world of technology.

We provide news, reviews and comment, without fear or favour, that is of direct relevance to our fast-expanding audience. Proportionately, we provide the largest local audience of all technology-focused online publishers.

We do not constantly regurgitate press releases to draw in search engine traffic — we believe websites that do so are doing their readers and advertisers a disservice. Nor do we sell “editorial features”, offer advertising “press offices” or rely on online bulletin-board forums of questionable value to advertisers to bolster our traffic.

TechCentral, which is edited and written by award-winning South African journalists, cares about delivering top-quality content to draw in the business and consumer readers that are of most interest to technology advertisers.

We’d like the opportunity to demonstrate the value of directing a portion of your advertising budget to TechCentral, whether your company is in the technology field or not. Numerous opportunities exist for companies interested in reaching our audience of key decision-makers in South Africa’s dynamic information and communications technology sector. We offer packages that will deliver among the best returns on investment available in the online technology news space.

For more information about advertising opportunities, and how your organisation can benefit by publicising itself on TechCentral, please call us on 011-792-0449 during office hours. Or send us an e-mail and ask for our latest rate card and brochure.