MTN South Africa cuts data prices after CompCom order

MTN

South Africa’s MTN Group Limited said it will be cutting prices of its data bundles between 25% to 50%.

The decision is coming some days after the Competition Commission SA, CompCom SA ordered MTN and Vodacom to cut their data prices. While Vodacom has cut its prices to comply with the order, MTN said it “Developed a set of voluntary undertakings in the form of a social compact to further address the affordability of data services for its customers and MTN remains in discussion with the CompCom on the options to formalise these elective solutions and the implementation thereof.

“Included in these initiatives are three areas which focus on deepening MTN’s ongoing drive to reduce the cost to communicate. These are: the affordability of monthly prepaid bundles, lifeline data and the zero-rating of data for public benefit service websites. With regard to monthly prepaid data bundles, MTN SA will, in April 2020, reduce the price of its monthly bundles of 1GB and below by between 25-50% and specifically the 1GB monthly bundle will decrease by 33% to R99. This continues the work MTN SA has done to improve the affordability of data for its customers, having already brought the effective rate of data on its network down by 76% between February 2017 and February 2020.”

In terms of lifeline data, MTN SA said it “will provide each of its customers 20MB of free data daily – or the equivalent of 600MB per customer every month – through its instant messaging platform, Ayoba. Ayoba currently has 500 000 customers in South Africa and is expected to continue to scale through the lifeline offering.”

It is now clear how the price cut will impact its revenue projection for the next few quarters. In Nigeria, MTN and other carriers were also ordered to reduce data prices by the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC.

MTN is the second-largest carrier in South Africa with a 29% market share while Vodacom holds 42% of the market, according to the official data of South Africa’s telecoms regulator.