8ta drops broadband bomb on rivals

Telkom’s new mobile operator, 8ta, has dropped a bomb on rivals Vodacom, MTN and Cell C, introducing a cut-rate broadband product offering 10GB of data a month for R199 on a 24-month contract.

For an additional R100 per month, users will have 20GB of bandwidth — 10GB plus an extra 10GB for use between midnight and 5am.

The 10GB package equates to an effective cost-per-megabyte of less than 2c, making it the most aggressive mobile broadband pricing in South Africa to date. The out-of-bundle rate is 30 cents per megabyte and no modem is included in the packages.

The offer will only work in areas where Telkom has built 8ta towers and will not work in areas where the company relies on roaming partner MTN for coverage. 8ta has almost 1 000 active mobile broadband base stations across the country, and has said it will have more than 2 000 by March next year.

Amith Maharaj, managing executive of Telkom Mobile, says consumers have expressed concern about the cost of mobile data and he believes 8ta’s aggressive new pricing will help win over those customers.

“Price has seemed to be the barrier to entry until now,” Maharaj says.

He emphasises that the two new products are a special offer only. However, he won’t say when the special offer will end. Customers who sign up for a 24-month contract are guaranteed the prices won’t increase throughout the contract period. — TechCentral

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