MTN South Africa has taken a knife to international data roaming charges, cutting the price from R2.50/MB to 99c/MB effective immediately — that’s a 60.4% reduction. There are some caveats, though.
The price cut, which is effective immediately, is available to all MTN customers, the operator said in a statement on Tuesday.
The new tariff is available in 72 countries and gives customers access to 154 partner networks. Popular markets for South African travellers are included, such as the UK, US, France, Germany and China. Travellers must be careful which network these choose to roam on, though, as the data roaming fees on some operators are significantly higher.
For example, in the UK, the 99c/MB rate applies to O2, Hutchison and EE — but don’t connect to Vodafone’s network unless you want to pay R2.50/MB. And if you’re visiting Mauritius, you may want to buy a local Sim, or pay R25/MB on MTML, R3.50/MB on Emtel or R2.50/minute on Orange (Cellplus). There is no 99c/MB option available.
Ironically, some of the most expensive data roaming charges are now in neighbouring countries in South Africa. In Namibia, MTN users will pay R5/MB to roam on that country’s leading mobile network, MTC, while in Zimbabwe the rate is R10/MB on Econet, the leading network provider there.
To get the 99c/MB rate in Namibia, MTN subscribers must connect to TN Mobile, which has much poorer network coverage than MTC; in Zimbabwe, they must select Telecel.
The full list of MTN roaming partners and pricing is available here. Details for Vodacom customers are available here, while those using Telkom can find details on this website. Cell C’s roaming tariffs are here. — (c) 2021 NewsCentral Media