Data costs are extremely expensive in South Africa. We are not only one of the most expensive countries in Africa but the world when it comes to mobile data purchases from the likes of Vodacom, MTN, Cell C and others. The Competition Commission has called on data service providers to reduce the price of data in South Africa by at least half or face prosecution.
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The commission released an inquiry report on Monday afternoon where they found that data prices in South Africa are excessive and the market is highly dominated by Vodacom and MTN. Commissioner Tembinkosi Bonakele claims an appropriate regulation is reasonable.
[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel” link=”” color=”#0D8EFA” class=”” size=”19″]It was clear, according to the findings, that we have a competition problem in the market and that prices are higher than they should be compared to elsewhere in the world.”[/perfectpullquote]
Vodacom and MTN could face prosecution if they do not agree to reduce data costs in South Africa within the next two months. Bonakele states the companies should lower prices by around 50%.
Even with the findings, Vodacom and MTN can challenge the commission by going through the Competition Tribunal. However, this has yet to be confirmed by the data providers. Lower data costs in South African would mean a great opportunity for growth in the country. We will have to wait and see what Vodacom and MTN decide to do in the coming two months as the deadlines approach for the price reduction.
You can read the full report down below;
Data Market Inquiry Summary by Janice Healing on Scribd