October 07, 2016
But can it keep up with new packages from Vodacom, Cell C, and Telkom?
MTN has just unveiled two new sets of packages to the market – a new range of MTN Sky packages as well as new My MTNChoice + Talk packages.
The announcement of these new MTN packages comes a week after Cell C unveiled its new Pinnacle offerings and new cash-back campaign, and not long after Vodacom’s new Plus packages and Telkom’s FreeMe packages came to market. The space is definitely “hotting up”, but are these new packages worthwhile switching to MTN or upgrading your current contract?
When the Sky is no longer unlimited
For a while now, mobile operators have each been selling various different types of unlimited packages. “But how can that be,” you may ask, “surely an unlimited package is an unlimited package– how is it possible to get different variations of ‘unlimited’?” The answer is that the mobile operators generally play around with the amount of data that you receive in an unlimited package, making it more of an unlimited calling and SMSing package. MTN has followed suite and now offers three variations of their MTN Sky package, each coming with a different amount of inclusive data. The MTN Sky Lite comes with 3GB, the Sky Medium comes with 15GB, and the Sky Max comes with a whopping 25GB of data per month.
But MTN is differentiating these Sky packages in a different way as well- by offering different Fair Use limitations to the various contracts. This means that each of the abovementioned packages will come with a different amount of calling minutes and SMSs that you’ll be able to use every day (so much for an Unlimited Package!). Once you use up your daily allocation, you will be charged out of bundle rates for any additional calls or SMSs. But the fair usage limitations are quite generous – with Sky Lite users getting allocated 120 minutes a day, Sky Medium users receiving 150 minutes a day, and Sky Max users getting 250 minutes a day.
These new Sky packages may be compared to Vodacom’s Red VIP or Red VIP + packages (5GB of data for R1,999 or 10GB of data for R2,099 respectively), Cell C’s Pinnacle Unlimited Package (10GB of data for R999), and Telkom’s FreeMe Unlimited (25GB of data(!) for R999.
The previous Sky package also came with unlimited calls and SMSs (which really was unlimited), but the inclusive data as well as the package price fluctuated on a regular basis. Last month the Sky package cost R1,399 per month (for the SIM-only deal) and came with 10GB of data, which situated it between the new Sky Lite and Sky Medium packages.
More choice for MTNChoice
MTN has also released 3 new variants of their My MTNChoice+ packages, namely the My MTNChoice+ Talk S, My MTNChoice+ Talk M, and My MTNChoice+ Talk L. These packages are comparable to the regular My MTNChoice + packages (which also comes in S, M, and L flavours) however the new Talk packages come with more voice minutes, less data, and are cheaper. These packages are therefore better suited at “callers” rather than data-users, while their existing My MTNChoice+ packages, which comes with 1 GB, 5 GB, or 7 GB, are targeted at the medium-to-high data users.
This now brings the range of MTNChoice+ packages up to 13 different options (including 7 My MTN Choice packages, 3 MyMTNChoice + packages, and now 3 MyMTNChoice + Talk packages), and that’s before you start adding any extra voice or data bundles! And while Tariffic appreciate that this allows consumers to find the perfect packages for them based on their specific, unique behaviour, it also makes it very difficult for anyone to make sense of the market and what is right for them.
So how do these packages compare to the competition?
It is clear that while Telkom is pushing the envelope and innovating when it comes to their packages (in order to respond to the changing consumer behaviour which is tending more towards high-data usage and low call usage) and Cell C is offering a substantial amount of money cash-back for signing up with their new Pinnacle contracts, MTN is simply tinkering with their existing packages in order to have something “new” to market as part of their Summer campaigns. MTN’s packages are hardly revolutionary, and although they will benefit customers whose specific usage will necessitate these exact packages, they are not shifting the market forward in any meaningful way.
The cellular market is complicated and it is getting even more complicated on a daily basis. But fear not, because Tariffic is here to help. We can help businesses and individuals save on their cellphone bills and find their perfect packages. Try it out, for free, at http://www.tariffic.com .