Within days of mobile interconnection rates being cut, SA’s two biggest cellphone operators, MTN and Vodacom, have slashed their peak-time prepaid voice tariffs.
The two companies have cut prepaid rates between 6am and 8pm on weekdays by as much as 40%.
Interconnection rates are the fees the mobile operators charge each other and other operators to carry calls onto their networks. The rate during peak time was cut from R1,25/minute to 89c/minute on 1 March.
Now MTN and Vodacom have introduced prepaid tariff plans that offer the same calling fee structure all day, in both peak and off-peak periods.
Though the off-peak tariffs on the new packages are higher than off-peak rates on the operators’ traditional prepaid plans, the on-peak fees are significantly lower.
For example, an off-net call during peak hours on Vodacom’s new all-day tariff plan is R1,80/minute, compared to R2,99/minute on the its 4U prepaid plan.
MTN’s new calling plan is called One Rate PayAsYouGo and offers similar peak-time savings.
Calls on both packages are billed per second, from the first second.
Though the price reductions coincide with the cut in interconnection rates, the cuts may be a reaction to Cell C’s recent price reductions.
In November, Cell C introduced a flat R1,50/minute all-day prepaid tariff structure for off-net and on-net calls. However, unlike the Vodacom and MTN plans, Cell C’s plan is billed per minute, not per second. – Duncan McLeod, TechCentral
- Image credit: Chrisdlugosz