Category Archives: information

Contract vs Prepaid

Prepaid is better than contract:

  • Cheaper per minute voice calls
  • Flexibility to move between networks
  • Phones can be bought for cash or financed through FNB
  • Contacts can destroy your bank account

If you’re on the Vodacom network, you should be on Prepaid – 

Gone are the day of free phones bundled into contracts. This isn’t Vodacom’s fault, to be fair you’re no longer wanting a Nokia 3210 but an IPhone 6 smart phone. You pay a monthly fee to get the phone on top of your contract price. So if I wanted a Apple IPhone 6 64Gb through Vodacom I’m in for R648.99 x 24 months which equates to R15575. The solution, pop into FNB connect and get the same phone for R575 x 24 months which means an all in cost of R13800, that’s a savings of R1775.

All in all, over the period of 24 months, including the phone and an itemised bill each month, you’re looking at a Vodacom price of R33 311. If I went the prepaid option and FNB, which provides full flexibility, over 24 months I’m paying R28 200.

That’s an overall saving of R5 111

Contracts have no billing limits

Ms Tarr, a Vodacom customer set R50 contract limit yet she received a R20,000 bill. Her contract also had a  R3,000 call limit and an R8,500 account limit, neither limit took effect. Vodacom says it has a disclaimer in its terms and conditions should a limit requested by a customer not kick in and the customer is therefor always liable.

Vodacom’s sets R50 limit and gets R50 000 bill 



Mobile operator bundle links

Each operators offers a unique mix of functionality for a fixed upfront price, commonly called a bundle. For detailed information on a various bundles click on a link below:

Vodacom Bundles

  • Prepaid Data – Lists Vodacom’s daily, monthly and once off reoccurring data bundles
  • My 5 voice bundles – 10c/min voice bundles for prepaid price plans (excluding Prepaid 79c) and Vodacom Top Up customers.
  • Power Hour – R7 for 60 minute bundles for prepaid price plans (excluding Prepaid 79c) and Vodacom Top Up customers. Valid until midnight

MTN Bundles

  • Data Bundle – Lists MTN data bundles, valid from 1 day to 60 days
  • Rush hour bundle – 1 hour voice and data combination bundles

Cell C bundles

Telkom Mobile bundles

Data bundles – lists data bundles from 25MB to 3GB valid for until the end of the next calendar month from date of purchase

SMS bundles – once off bundles are valid until the end of the next month.

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


Data bundle comparisons around the web

The Cheapest Prepaid Mobile Internet Bundles Across South African Networks

Startup Picnic Magazine’ picks for various bundles at R50, R100, R150, R200, R250 or R300 price points.

Compared across Telkom Mobile (8ta), Vodacom, Cell C, Virgin Mobile, MTN, Afrihost and Neotel, usable at any time of the day and valid for least 30 days.

MyBroadband compares mobile operator’s prepaid data bundles prices

February 4, 2015 – After price a hike on 1 February 2015, Cell C mobile data bundles below 500MB are still competitive. Above 1GB MTN and Telkom Mobile offer far better value.

MyBroadband compares the best and the worst prepaid mobile deals in South Africa

July 20, 2015 – These deals include mobile data deals from MVNOs such as Afrihost, Axxess and MWEB and range from 250MB for R29 to 5GB for R249

MyBroadband compares bundles offered by ISPs

August 27, 2015 – Internet service providers also offer mobile data products including RSAWEB, Afrihost, MWEB, and Axxess.  Prepaid and contract bundles between 1GB and 20GB are compared between ISPs and the big four mobile networks


Why purchase data bundles?

To save money! Typically out of bundle rates for data are far more expensive compared to in bundle rates typical bundle rates are around 15c for 500MB while out of bundle rates are anywhere from 99c to R2 per MB making bundles over 1000x cheaper in most cases.

Operator out of bundle rates (OOB)

  • Vodacom – R2/MB
  • MTN -99c/ MB
  • Cell C – 99c/MB
  • Telkom mobile – 29c/MB

Bundles in general (not just data bundles) have limitations. Any data bundles will only be valid in South Africa and cannot be used while roaming and the per MB roaming charge is often more than R100/MB. Bundles also have a shelf life or a validity period before they expireIn general data bundles last 30 days but some special bundles can be valid for as short as one hour.

Previously bundles were only for prepaid customers, now as the operators have upgraded their systems most bundles are available for both prepaid and contract customers. Some operators have restricted their voice bundles to certain price plans. Typically the price plan with the voice rate per minutes is not able to purchase voice bundles.

RDM Time to wake up to out-of-bundle data rates