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LTE broadband price wars escalate

Cell C's new LTE packages are in line with Telkom's current LTE pricing.

Cell C's new LTE packages are in line with Telkom's current LTE pricing.

Telkom and Cell C are going to battle over long-term evolution (LTE) broadband pricing, as the networks look to pick up new customers through spring promotions.

Cell C recently launched its LTE Power Plans range as a fixed broadband alternative, with data packages offering between 15GB and 200GB. The 15GB package costs R299 per month, the LTE 25GB package costs R499 and the LTE 50GB package costs R699 per month. Cell C says the 24-month contracts all come in at under 2c per MB.

For big data users, there are also the LTE 100GB and LTE 200GB packages for R999 and R1 499 respectively – equalling less than 1c per MB.

"Cell C's new LTE packages are very competitively priced compared to similar packages from Vodacom and MTN, but they are in line with Telkom's current LTE pricing," according to Antony Seeff, CEO of cellphone bill-optimisation company Tariffic.

Seeff, however, says Cell C is also offering a 30-day notice, no cancellation fee option "which is a great choice for consumers in the fast-changing world of data connectivity". 

The LTE Power Plans run until 31 January, after which standard rates will apply.

Meanwhile, Telkom has come out with a new October promotion that undercuts Cell C's 15GB offer. The first 1 000 customers who sign up for the 24-month contract will get 15GB worth of LTE broadband for R199 per month. This includes 5GB wireless broadband data plus 5GB Night Surfer data and 5GB Telkom Mobile data. Night Surfer can only be used between midnight and 7am.

Telkom also has a few SmartBroadband Wireless LTE-A packages which are similarly priced to Cell C's Power Plans but offer extra night data. The SmartBroadband Wireless LTE-A 50GB SIM only deal costs R699 for a month-to-month contract and includes 50GB of anytime data plus another 50GB of free Night Surfer data.

Similarly, the SmartBroadband Wireless LTE-A 100GB is R999 and also offers an extra 100GB free Night Surfer data, while the SmartBroadband Wireless LTE-A 200GB deal adds an extra 200GB free Night Surfer data for the total price of R1 599. These packages come with a router on the 24-month contract, or with a SIM only if you choose to go month-to-month instead.

South Africa's mobile networks continue to invest in infrastructure to improve LTE capabilities and speeds. Telkom claims LTE coverage across SA. Cell C says it has over 2 200 LTE base stations across the country and offers LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) coverage in three major metro areas, including Cape Town, Pretoria and Johannesburg.

Telkom

Package

Anytime data

Night Surfer

Total data

Included

Contract

Price

SmartBroadband Wireless LTE-A 50GB

50GB

50GB

100GB

SIM only

Month-to-month

R699

SmartBroadband Wireless LTE-A 100GB

100GB

100GB

200GB

Huawei E5186 router

24-month (or month-to-month for SIM only)

R999

SmartBroadband Wireless LTE-A 200GB

200GB

200GB

400GB

Huawei E5186 router

24-month (or month-to-month for SIM only)

R1 599

*Night Surfer can only be used between midnight and 7am.

Cell C

Package

Anytime data

Included

Contract

Price

LTE Power Plan 15GB

15GB

SIM only

24-month

R299

LTE Power Plan 25GB

25GB

SIM only

24-month

R499

LTE Power Plan 50GB

50GB

SIM only

24-month

R699

LTE Power Plan 100GB

100GB

SIM only

24-month

R999

LTE Power Plan 200GB

200GB

SIM only

24-month

R1 499


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