Since 2005, cellphone carrier Vodacom has been charging customers in South Africa R2 per MB for out-of-bundle costs. This has been a sore issue for customers over the years, with many people complaining about their airtime finishing too quickly.
The theory according to Moneyweb is that the reason the R2 per MB from Vodacom charges still stand, more than 10 years later, is because the company’s voice call revenue is plummeting. So, essentially, this is one of the easiest ways for the company to keep pulling in revenue despite the challenges.
More about Vodacom’s R2 per MB data charges:
The company charges these rates as a way to encourage subscribers to buy bundles.
Bundle information is used by mobile operators to ensure that they have enough capacity to cope with the demand on their network. This information is useful for guiding operators on how much customers are spending on data and airtime.
In most instances, Vodacom will inform subscribers that their data is running out and that they should recharge. If they don’t, they run the risk of being charged out-of-bundle charges, which is sure to deplete their airtime very quickly.
Vodacom’s full year results from 2015 show that total revenue from in-bundle revenue is about R22.6 billion and about R20.6 billion for out-of-bundle rates. R16.6 billion of the out-of-bundle rates are from prepaid customers.
Comparing out-of-bundle rates:
The most cost-effective solution is Cell C, which charges out-of-bundle rates of 15c per MB. Telkom Mobile charges a rate of 29c, with MTN charging R1 per MB data for out-of-bundle rates.
Fact remains that Vodacom’s R2 per MB data charges are the highest in the industry. With the changing ways in which people are communicating, it doesn’t seem likely that Vodacom will drop their charges any time soon.