#DataMustFall: MTN to slash out-of-bundle rates

Johannesburg - Mobile network provider MTN will slash data rates down to 29 cents per megabyte on its lowest tariff.  

MTN SA CEO Godfrey Motsa said on Thursday that the network would be cutting data costs to 29c for its "Accidental users" who typically use less than 5MB per month, and those who use more can now expect to pay 60c out-of-bundle. 

“We have been investing heavily in our network infrastructure, because customers are the basis of our network," Motsa said. 

During the same announcement Jacqui O'Sullivan, head of corporate affairs executive at MTN SA, said that, from Friday, customers would be able to purchase 1GB data bundles through the network’s cellphone app for R50 which will be valid for a week.  

Motsa added that MTN wants to drop data rates even further, but can only do this with more spectrum allocation. 

“We would like to see out-of-bundle data drop even further for our customers and every time we have the opportunity to engage with government we ask for more spectrum to be released, because we understand the positive impact that more spectrum allocation has on the SA GDP,” Motsa said. 

During his mini budget, Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba said the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research had completed a study on spectrum availability and open access on behalf of the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services.

The delay in allocating telecommunications spectrum constrains growth across the economy.

Lack of radio frequency limits the ability of businesses to deploy new technologies, and contributes to the high cost of broadband.

In comparison, and according to independent research, SA fares reasonably well compared to other African countries, which pay a higher price per gigabyte.

It was previously announced that the Competition Commission launched a market inquiry to investigate data prices.

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