Telkom has cheapest kids' contracts

Tariffic CEO Antony Seeff.
Tariffic CEO Antony Seeff.

Telkom has the cheapest cellphone contract prices for kids, according to the latest quarterly "Tariffic Tracker". This, from the South African company that helps businesses and individuals manage and minimise their cellphone bills.

Tariffic says it spoke to many children and parents, and identified that most kids would be comfortable with a cellphone package offering enough data for a few minutes of YouTube every day (when they're not connected to WiFi), a lot of WhatsApp messaging and calling, as well as sufficient minutes to call parents in an emergency. Parents are also concerned with their kids being on the wrong package, resulting in hefty bill-shock at the end of the month.

Based on this, the criteria for selecting the best cellphone contracts for children included: the contract must have at least 1GB of data; at least 50 minutes for calls; free WhatsApp is a plus but not required; and contracts that help avoid bill-shock are preferable.

Tariffic then used its proprietary tariff-optimisation engine to find the best packages for kids based on these requirements. The company says the results are interesting in how varied they are.

"Telkom is clearly the winner, offering the cheapest contract for kids, at R133, which is followed by MTN at R199," says Antony Seeff, Tariffic's CEO.

Seeff adds "it is fascinating to see how much more expensive Vodacom and Cell C were, with their prices being 87% and 109% more expensive than Telkom respectively".

Tariffic's top pick, the Telkom 1GB FreeMe package, also comes with free WhatsApp, which can be used for messages and voice calls, which it says is appealing to younger children.

Tariffic Tracker Q4 2017: the best cellphone contracts for kids.
Tariffic Tracker Q4 2017: the best cellphone contracts for kids.

To avoid bill-shock, Tariffic recommends a hybrid or top-up contract. These contracts have certain inclusive value, but when the value is depleted, parents can purchase prepaid airtime or data bundles to top them up.

"This way, there is no risk of exorbitant out-of-bundle spend that often catches parents off-guard. These contracts are also available with handset deals if parents are looking to get a cellphone for their kids as well."

Tariffic advises parents to enter into a cellphone contract for their children "with caution". It says parents need to be fully aware of the consequences that come with kids being online, such as cyber bullying, access to pornography and other concerns. There are a variety of parental control and parental monitoring apps that Tariffic suggests all parents should consider before opening their children up to the dangers of the Internet.

* Tariffic shows SIM-only deals and does not consider any handset deals. Tariffic says all the data used was valid as of the end of November 2017.

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