Vodacom have formally responded to Cell C’s slashing of international call rates – but with a few catches.
Vodacom has launched its international calling promotion that offers customers the lowest rate in South Africa when making international calls directly from a cellphone. Contract, Top Up and Prepaid customers will only pay 89c per minute anytime when making calls to 52 international destinations. This promotion will be available from today until the end of the year.
The cutting of rates appears to be a direct response to Cell C’s series of announcements this year, in which the call rates to most countries were cut to 99c. The networks are able to slash international call rates to below those of local calls because of the high interconnect fee for terminating calls between networks locally. The current 56c interconnect call – due to drop to 40c next March – means local call costs between networks cannot fall below around 90c, given the margin networks need to make on top of the interconnect fee. By next March, this minimum call cost can come down to around 75c.
For international calls, the limits are dramatically lower, based on the termination rates negotiated globally – and these can be as low as a few cents.
There are also a few catches to the new international call rates:
To benefit from this great offer, customers must opt in by dialing *111# and follow the prompts on the 89c international calling menu. Calls are billed per second, from the first second. A R5 monthly fee will also be charged. Customers can opt out at any time by dialing *111# and selecting ‚’opt-out’ from the 89c international calling menu.
The international calling promotion will be available for calls made to the following countries:
Wallis & Futuna