MTN, Cell C offer best deals on subsidised phones - TechCentral

MTN, Cell C offer best deals on subsidised phones

New research by Tariffic, the company that analyses South African cellular tariffs to help companies and individuals reduce their mobile bills, shows that MTN and Cell C offer the best handset subsidies, while consumers are likely to pay more on Vodacom.

The company’s latest “tracker” analysed whether consumers are getting a good deal when they buy a new phone on contract rather than paying cash upfront at retail.

Tariffic looked at three different subsets of cellphone packages for each of the four mobile network operators to see how much consumers are paying for their handset on these packages.

The handsets considered were the Samsung Galaxy A5 (32GB), the Galaxy S8 (64GB) and the Apple iPhone 7 (32GB). The effective amount that customers end up paying over 24 months was calculated by comparing the “deal fee” (how much someone will pay every month for the contract plus the phone) against the Sim-only fee for the exact same package.

“The results are astounding,” Tariffic said in a statement.

“There are cases where you get a great deal on a handset, and receive a substantial subsidy from your network. However, in many cases you will actually land up paying more over 24 months for the phone than if you would have just bought it retail from Takealot,” it said.

The biggest subsidised deals, out of the three handsets analysed, were available on the iPhone 7, while MTN and Cell C generally gave the largest subsidies.

Best subsidy

The best subsidy was from Cell C, which subsidised an iPhone 7 by nearly R5 500 on a Pinnacle Unlimited package (consumers only pay R8 400 over the course of a contract for a phone that retails for R13 810).

The worst deal was from Vodacom, where consumers would end up paying R19 680 for a Samsung Galaxy S8 on the Smart L+ package, compared to the retail cash price of R13 045 from Takealot.

“There’s no such thing as a ‘free phone’ when it comes to cellphone contracts,” said Tariffic CEO Antony Seeff. “Sometimes you’ll pay less for your phone and receive a decent subsidy from the networks, but other times it will be better to get a Sim-only deal and buy your phone cash or finance it through your bank. — (c) 2017 NewsCentral Media