Cell C has upped the ante in South Africa’s mobile price war. The mobile operator has slashed prepaid call rates to 66c/minute, from 99c/minute previously.
The new 66c tariff excludes its Supacharge recharge benefits, which will continue to be available on its 99c/minute prepaid plans. Cell C’s move comes a month after MTN cut its prepaid rates to 79c/minute on per-second billing. Vodacom has also cut its rates to 79c/minute, but only on a promotional basis.
The new prepaid rates are on a promotional basis until the end of September, when communications regulator Icasa is expected to publish new regulations governing inter-network call rates.
“Cell C will continue to offer the lowest guaranteed call rate across networks,” CEO Jose Dos Santos said at a media conference in Johannesburg on Tuesday.
At the same time, Cell C has slashed the price of post-paid calls to 79c/minute. It has introduced three new contract plans, ChatMore Standard, ChatMore 200 and ChatMore 400 that offer the new, reduced tariff.
Dos Santos used Tuesday’s press conference to reassure consumers that Cell C is not in danger of running into financial difficulty as South Africa’s mobile price war intensifies.
“The shareholders remain committed to supporting the company, saying the company is in a strong position to survive the price war,” Dos Santos says. “In 2013, Cell C received an equity injection of R2,6bn and a further R1,5bn has been injected in 2014. The shareholders remain very supportive of Cell C.”
In addition to the equity injection, Cell C raised R1,8bn in local debt and an additional US$120m in foreign debt. “A further $125m foreign currency deal is near completion and this is expected to increase to $200m by year-end.” — (c) 2014 NewsCentral Media