MTN CEO, Rob Shuter says South Africans can expect an announcement from the telecom giant in regards to data price cuts shortly, according to My Broadband.
This comes after Vodacom made a similar announcement after it had reached an agreement with the Competition Commission on 10 March regarding the telecom’s data prices.
Due to the agreement, Vodacom is going to reduce mobile data prices by over 30% across all monthly bundles for contract and prepaid customers. Over the next 2 years, the company will drop monthly data prices across the board by up to 40%.
Vodacom is also planning a series of discounts and other services in 2000 areas and especially in areas where the population has an income level below the upper-bound food poverty line. Including 2 free SMSs per day and access to job hiring and application websites for free.
Immediately after this announcement, all eyes turned to Vodacom’s largest contemporary – MTN, who is expected to make a similar agreement with the Competition Commission.
Shuter says that MTN and the Competition Commission have had ‘constructive engagement’ since their Data Service Market Inquiry was released.
“We are trying to find the right balance between addressing their concerns, giving more value, while making sure that our business is sustainable,” he says. The transformation of data pricing in South Africa is a welcome relief to disenfranchised communities and will allow internet access to be much more affordable to entry-level customers.
“We believe strongly that this will be much easier to accommodate if we have the additional spectrum to carry the traffic,” the CEO says.
The need for ‘additional spectrum’ comes in as a response to increase of usage across the board when data is made more affordable. More usage means more users.
Shuter states that MTN South Africa has less spectrum than in the 21 other countries where it operates. “It is complex to implement this commercial strategy as we do not have the have the spectrum to carry the extra traffic.”
The MTN CEO is positive about the transformation over the next 12 to 18 months, saying that there is good progress on the state in getting ready to license the new spectrum required.
“We are very close to finding each other. We expect to make an announcement shortly,” Shuter says about the Competition Commission and MTN meeting the right agreement.
Edited by Luis Monzon
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