MTN cuts 3G prices

Billboard outside MTN's head office in Johannesburg

Advertising hoarding outside MTN's head office in Johannesburg

Mobile group MTN has cut its 3G data prices in SA in the first sign that an escalating broadband price war involving Internet service providers could soon spread from fixed lines to mobile.

MTN on Friday announced it would reduce out-of-bundle data rates by as much as 84% from this weekend and introduce an unlimited per-day bundle that could prove popular among foreign tourists visiting the country.

“The SA broadband market is incredibly competitive, with several companies offering many different packages and deal to customers,” says MTN SA chief marketing officer Serame Taukabong in a statement.

The new unlimited bundle, which costs R50/day, will give mobile users unlimited access to MTN’s data network. Though a fair-use policy applies — once a user consumes more than 150MB, the service is throttled to 128kbit/s — the offering is likely to prove popular for overseas tourists looking for ad hoc Internet access.

At the same time, the operator is launching a 90-minute data bundle at R25. The speed is limited to 128kbit/s and is valid for 30 days, with an additional 30-day carryover for unused data.

Out-of-bundle data rates are also being reduced fairly significantly (click on the tables below for full pricing details).

MTN extended data and top-up price plans

MTN extended data and top-up price plans

MTN broadband bolt-on data bundles

MTN broadband bolt-on data bundles

MTN, which has invested R12bn in new network infrastructure in the past two years, is believed to be keen to increase data traffic on its network. CEO Karel Pienaar revealed in a recent interview with TechCentral that only 10% of the capacity on MTN’s 3G network is being utilised.  — Staff reporter, TechCentral

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