CAPE TOWN, Amidst complaints of how expensive it is to communicate in South Africa, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) says it is implementing several interventions to ensure that data prices fall.
Rubben Mohlaloga, ICASA’s acting chairperson, also highlighted here Wednesday the crazy out-of-bundle rates, which he said the regulator would look at going forward when he briefed the Parliamentary Select Committee on Communications and Public Enterprises.
He said an analysis of data costs since 2010 had revealed a change in data costs since the advent of over-the-top services like Whatsapp and Skype and the penetration of smart devices. As a result, and also because of the call termination rate regime, voice tariffs had gone down.
The out-of-bundle and in-bundle price differentials, Mohlagoa said, were relatively high, depending on the kind of bundle which consumers purchased.
If you buy higher bundles, then you spend less per megabyte. If you buy a small bundle, say 100 or 500 megabytes, then you spend higher per megabyte. Once you are out-of-bundle, it is even worse, you move from an average of five cents to two Rand (about 15 US cents per megabyte) . That is an area of concern (for ICASA) and we think that it needs to be nipped in the bud, he said.
Mohlaloga zoomed in to the cost of different data packages, and said when benchmarked with other countries, South Africans still paid higher prices to communicate. While local service provider Vodacom charged South Africans up to 270 Rabd for a twp-gigabyte data bundle, consumers paid less than 100 Rand for the same package in Tanzania, he added.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK