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Vodacom slashes data costs

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In an eagerly anticipated announcement, Vodacom has announced up to 43% cuts on the cost of data bundles – but have not reduced the R2 per MB ad hoc cost of mobile broadband usage.

Vodacom this morning announced a new data services structure and pricing that will see contract data costs fall by up to 43%, out-of-bundle costs by up to 50%, and double the data allowance at no cost in the early hours of the morning.

The move comes hard on the heals of 8.ta announcing a 10GB capacity for R199 a month, and MTN announcing a massive reduction in its uncapped mobile broadband services. The broadband price war now playing itself was sparked almost a year ago when Cell C announced the lowest broadband prices in South African history.

Vodacom’s move means that from 1 August customers will pay as little as 7 cents per MB for data consumption. Although this is still higher than 8.ta’s lowest rate of 2c per MB, it affects the biggest broadband customer base in the country – up to three million users, according to Vodacom results announced today. The company’s data revenue has grown by 37.6% in the quarter ended June 2011, and a total of 10.9 million customers are using data – mostly on their phones to access content like ringtones, wallpaper, games and the like.

Ad hoc data users will be deeply disappointed, however, to learn that the out-of-bundle cost of data for those not using any bundle remains at R2 per MB – a cost that has not been reduced in five years.While this was not included in the Vodacom announcement, it was confirmed by Vodacom after a direct question on Twitter.

‚Vodacom’s change to red brought with it the promise of real changes to the network, customer service and value. We hope these price reductions will contribute to making the Internet more affordable and give our customers an enhanced connected experience,‚ says Pieter Uys, Chief Executive Officer at Vodacom.In addition to the savings, all existing and new Vodacom contract customers will be given another allocation of the same size as the subscribed data bundle to use anytime between midnight and 5AM. This service, called Night Owl, previously only on promotion, is now available as standard to all Vodacom contract subscribers. Contract customers will receive more value from the new Broadband Standard prices. For example, Vodacom customers who previously bought a MyMeg 110 data bundle at R88 (80c per MB), will now pay R49, for a MyMeg 100 (49c per MB) – a cost saving of 39% per MB.

Existing Vodacom contract subscribers will automatically benefit from the new tariffs and will be migrated to the next bigger bundle size while paying less. For example, current 300MB subscribers will be migrated to 500MB, at a lower overall tariff. Over and above the Broadband Standard price reductions, Vodacom also provides the following services:

To access more information on the revised Broadband Standard products customers can go to www.vodacom.co.za

The new data price structure is as follows:

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