Vodacom 'responds' to Telkom FreeMe data deals

Johannesburg - Vodacom [JSE:VOD] has become the first network to respond to drastic mobile price cuts from Telkom – quietly unveiling a variety of new contract packages.

Vodacom's new packages will augment already-existing offerings and effectively offer more data and less SMSs to existing Smart, Smart Top Up, and RED package customers.  

Vodacom introduced a plus (+) package to almost all of its offerings, which saw a R40 increase in the cheapest package, but offering 300MB more and 125 SMSs less. 

The most expensive RED VIP + contract is priced at R 100 more than the standard RED VIP but it offers 5GB more. 

Tariffic, a company that compares the price of mobile contract offerings by networks in the country, noted the inclusion of seven new additional contracts from the service provider.

“The most interesting part about the inclusion of the contracts is that Vodacom has introduced them without having done much advertising,” Anthony Seeff, Tariffic CEO, told Fin24.

Seeff added that the move came just three weeks after Telkom announced the launch of its FreeMe contracts, which include large data packages with free instant messaging and calls to other Telkom numbers.

READ: Here's how much Telkom's new mobile contracts cost

“It is tempting to say that Vodacom might have copied Telkom, but this is not the reality. Whether a high data package or not, Vodacom has never competed on prices but rather on the quality of network,” he said.

READ: Here's how Telkom's new packages compare to Vodacom, MTN

“Cell C have a habit of shaking up the industry with innovative packages at a competitive price. MTN and Vodacom in the past have generally been quiet so it is surprising to see reaction from Vodacom,” Seeff said.

He added that not dropping tariff rates could have had an impact on the market-share of the two service providers. 

“Now that Vodacom has reacted, this might bring a shift to the industry to cater for the new environment,” Seeff said.

READ: Why Vodacom, MTN may ignore Telkom's price cuts

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