Will populist political projects eventually lead to the collapse of democracy? The answer is complicated, but there is a second option, writes Ralph Mathekga.
Mobile operators have long blamed the lack of spectrum for high data prices.
Vodcom reported 608,000 new customers on its network in its most recent quarter, while its service revenues declined. But the really big drops in data costs will come once it has new promised spectrum, the company says.
South Africa has some of the most expensive data in the world.
Vodacom will soon have spent R2.3 billion in capital on the much smaller data-only network Rain, its latest financial results show – money its competitors think will be very well spent.
5G promises to be up to be 20 times faster than 4G.
It also charges the most for out-of-bundle data usage.
1GB data costs R149 at Vodacom.
Cell C, the country’s third largest mobile operator, said during load shedding nearly 30% of its network is affected by vandalism.
Vodacom is getting a very public political scolding for saying it has reached a settlement with Please Call Me inventor Kenneth Makate – including from Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, the minister that oversees its sector.
Vodacom is negotiating a South African wireless network-sharing deal with fixed-line operator Telkom SA as a replacement for former partner Cell C.
Mobile data prices in South Africa are higher than in many other countries in Africa and elsewhere. The quick release of spectrum could change that – but continued indecision by policymakers leaves consumers with costly data bills and hinders economic growth.
e-SIM cards are built into a device and therefore only needs to be activated.
Vodacom says it took a big knock in "WASP revenue" because of stringent policies about content fraud, after years of complaints.
The appeals committee of SA's advertising regulator says Vodacom shouldn't be claiming to be the best cellphone network in the land anymore, as MTN complained – and Vodacom looking contemptuous because it keeps trying.
Stage 4 load shedding places additional strain on cellphone towers as batteries are increasingly unable to recharge.
Vodacom was going to be the only mobile operator to charge for data rollovers to the next month.
From the beginning of March, South Africans have to be warned if they use out-of-bundle data, and they will also be able to roll over data.
Vodacom said it “needlessly” had to build more towers to expand its 4G network. Consumers end up paying for that via higher prices.
The internet of things was the biggest area of customer growth for Vodacom in the last six months, but unlike MTN it is growing across the board in South Africa.
Vodacom sold a lot more data bundles than usual in April, May, and June, because its prices were lower. It now says new Icasa rules on data roll-over won't be that big a deal – because it turns out people buy more data when it is cheaper.
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