Category Archives: bundle comparisons

Cell C – 1 February 2017

In the second increase in 6 months Cell C is hiking prices of most of it’s contracts and bundles by approximately 10%.

Specific details are covered in this Cell C Letter.


  • Prepaid out of bundle rate increase to R1.10
  • All data bundles increase in cost by approximately 10%
  • Free WhatsApp benefit on TRACE Mobile prepaid removed
  • All SmartChat, StraightUp, ActiveChat and other contract monthly subscriptions increase approximately 10%
  • Nite Data will not be included in new SmartData TopUp contracts

Prepaid SIMs for Travel to South Africa Compared

If you are travelling to South Africa you need to stay connected with data, calling your airBnB agent and SMS (texts) as soon as you land. There is a variety of packages from each operator and it’s worth spending a minute or two to find the most suitable.

You will need to bring along your own unlocked GSM phone supporting 900Mhz/1800Mhz (most up to date  GSM smartphones). Your charger must support 220v and it may require an adapter to the two round prong europlug often used in SA. All SIM sizes are offered by the operators.

How to get connected

It’s recommended to arrange a SIM at the airport as the retail outlets tend to be most experienced with international travellers. Due to the RICA law requirements any SIM will require the retailer to verify your passport and you proof of residence (hotel bookings are accepted) to activate the SIM.

MTN and Vodacom outlets are available all three international airports in  Johannesburg (ORT),  Cape Town and Durban airports whereas Cell C is only available at Johannesburg.


Firstly you need the widest coverage for your travel. Although Google and Here maps (my preferred offline map iOS and Android versions) can be used offline you should always have data on hand. Secondly smartphones are data hungry and in the absence of uncapped packages in SA a minimum of a 2GB bundle is recommended. Exceeding your data bundle will result in your airtime consumed at R2/MB. Lastly your package should offer cheap international calling to contact friends and family back home.

MTN – R320

South Africa’s second largest network in coverage and numbers. Offers competitive data deals. MTN offers international calling bundles for reduced calls home.

MTN international calling bundle rates

  • R160 – 2GB valid 30 days
  • R150 Airtime – equivalent to 190 local mins or approx 100 mins international
  • R5 – SIM pack (should default to 79c/min plan)
  • R5 – International calling bundle – dial *141*2*427# to purchase

Vodacom – R409

Part of the Vodafone group South Africa’s largest network with widest coverage and also the most expensive. Vodacom offers international calling bundles for reduced calls home.

Vodacom international calling bundle rates

Cell C – R409

South Africa’s third network, also allows roaming on Vodacom and data coverage is spotty in rural areas.

Cell C international call rate listing

  • R249 – 2GB valid 30 days
  • R150 Airtime – equivalent to 190 local mins or approx 100 mins international calling
  • R5 – Starter SIM pack (change to 66c/min plan)

Telkom Mobile – R294

The smallest of the mobile networks. TM’s coverage is heavily dependant on MTN roaming outside major urban areas. TM lack complete international call rates on their website

TM International call rate listing

  • R5 – Starter SIM pack (choose SIM Sonke plan)
  • R139 – 2GB valid 30 days
  • R150 Airtime – equivalent to 200 local mins or approx 50 mins international calling

What’s the cheapest 1GB data bundle?

Comparing the various South African mobile operator’s prepaid data offerings to find the best priced 1GB data bundle.

MTN has the cheapest all hours 1GB data bundle 7 day and 14 day validity 1GB offers.

Cheapest 1 GB bundle

MTN 1GB bundle – R65 valid for 7 days (R0,07/MB) valid for only 7 days. MTN also extend the validity to 14 days for R89 (R0,09/MB)

Second place

Telkom Mobile at R99 for 1000MB (R0,1/MB) but valid for 30 days

Most Expensive

A tie between Vodacom and Cell C for their 1GB bundle – R149 (R0,15/MB) valid for 30 days