Here's how SA mobile operators are offering new treats to entice you into mobile binge data

Mobile operators are making an effort to tempt users into data streaming. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)
Mobile operators are making an effort to tempt users into data streaming. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

South Africans who enjoy streaming on mobile devices are in for a treat as operators race to capture eyeballs with free or reduced data offers.

Vodacom [JSE:VOD] on Monday announced the launch of "tickets" to increase data for specific data streaming services.

"Our customers can engage in the things they love the most without the fear of spending more than they wanted to. That is what Vodacom’s Ticket bundle is ultimately looking to achieve, so watch this space as we continue to evolve the product," said Nyimpini Mabunda, chief officer of the Vodacom Consumer Business Unit.

The Tickets are broken down into four categories:

  • Video Ticket (for VuClip Videos, DStv, Netflix, YouTube and Showmax) starts at R5 per hour for 100MB;
  • Music Ticket (for Deezer, Apple Music and Joox) starts at R3 per hour for 80MB;
  • Social Ticket (for Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter) starts at R5 per hour for 100MB; and
  • Gaming Ticket (for VuClip Games, Vlive Games, SGN and Gamemine) starts at R3 per hour for 80MB.

On Sunday, Cell C announced zero-rated data on its black platform.

"We know the biggest hurdle to gaining access to streaming content is the data component, and so for the next three months, any existing or new Black customer that is also on the Cell C network will not have to even consider having data to be able to download or stream their favourite shows," said Cell C CEO Jose Dos Santos.

Icasa ruling

The offer is available to prepaid and well as contract customers and the company hopes that removing the data cost will boost the consumption of digital content.

"We understand that one of the biggest barriers for content consumption is the cost of data. We believe that this is one step to start alleviating the cost of data for Black customers on the Cell C network," said Black CEO Surie Ramasary.

Movie rentals start at R25 on the platform and it costs R5 per day to stream soccer matches. However, subscriptions for Black start at R10 per day or R39 per month for the FLEXI Access, up to R399 per month for the BINGE Premium Plus package.

These offers come hot on the heels of regulator Icasa's ruling that South African data customers must be allowed to carry over their data bundles and must be informed when their data falls below 50%, 80% and 100% depletion levels.

The GSMA predicts that mobile subscribers in sub-Saharan Africa will climb to over 600 million in 2025, from about 450 million in 2017.

One of the biggest drivers of internet growth is video data.

Ericsson predicted that in the Middle East and Africa, data traffic per smartphone will jump to 7GB per month in 2022 from about 1GB in 2016.

The company says that video will account for 75% of all data by 2022.

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