Just days after news emerged that Cell C was pulling the plug on its wholesale fixed-LTE broadband plans, MTN South Africa has stepped into the breach, offering high-capped packages at aggressive price points.
MTN said on Wednesday that it is launching home Wi-Fi plans at R399/month for 120GB of total data and R599/month for 210GB of total data. The plans are available immediately and are promotional in nature. They are available on 24-month contract only.
“Customers who sign up, or upgrade on the MTN Made For Home 60GB data plan will receive 120GB of data, which comes with Huawei B612 router. This is made up of 50GB anytime data, 50GB night express data and a 20GB video streaming bundle which can be utilised to stream and download shows on Showmax and DStv Now,” the company said.
Customers who sign-up or upgrade on the MTN Made For Home 120GB data plan will receive 210GB data and a Huawei B612 router. The allocation is made up of 80GB anytime data, 80GB night express data and a 50GB video streaming bundle.
MTN is also offering an additional once-off 20GB of promotional data and a 14GB “Entertainment Pass” valid for 30 days. The Entertainment Pass includes social and content streaming data.
Customers have the option to top up their data bundles, with 2GB available at R69, 5GB at R119, 10GB at R169, 20GB at R299, 30GB at R379, 50GB at R599 and 100GB at R999, it said.
Cell C last week moved to justify its decision to terminate its wholesale fixed-LTE offering, saying customers of the service made up just 0.5% of its base but were using 20% of its data network capacity. It will continue to offer its own fixed-LTE plans directly to consumers.
Late last month, TechCentral reported that Cell C had issued a formal notice to its wholesale partner, Internet Solutions, stating that it would terminate wholesale fixed-LTE services, potentially leaving thousands of retail customers in the lurch.
Internet Solutions had provided access to the LTE network to other Internet service providers, including Afrihost and Vox, which then offered wireless broadband services to retail consumers. In a letter to its channel partners, seen by TechCentral, Internet Solutions said 100GB and 200GB fixed-LTE packages would be terminated — with Sim cards deactivated and data forfeited — at midnight on 31 October. The same would happen on 20GB and 50GB packages on 31 December.
“The provision of the service was no longer profitable for Cell C and, while another competitor may be willing to offer (this service) at a similar or lower price, Cell C does not believe it is sustainable,” the company said.
The high data usage was having an impact of the quality of Cell C’s network and therefore for other Cell C customers, it added.
“The decision to terminate this contract was not taken lightly and followed several months of negotiations. The Internet service provider (Internet Solutions) was given the required three months’ notice. The decision has been made based on sound business principles and is in no way linked to Cell C’s debt,” it said. Cell C is in the process of a further recapitalisation of its distressed balance sheet, led by businessman Jonathan Beare’s Buffet Consortium. This is expected to be concluded in the next couple of months.
Many ISPs use the Cell C network, through Internet Solutions, to offer services to customers. Afrihost, for example, offers 100GB of fixed-LTE broadband for R530/month and 200GB for R845/month. Vox offers 100GB for R525 and 200GB for R835, according to its website. — © 2019 NewsCentral Media