March 23, 2016

“Stop guessing when finding the best handset deals”

Tariffic publishes a special report once a quarter called ‘’Tariffic’s Perfect Package Tracker’’ which reports on changes in the South African cellular market.

In this quarter, Tariffic’s Perfect Package Tracker has focused on the best deals for people looking for a contract that comes with a specific phone in mind. The report uses the examples of Chris, Susanne, Dineo, Howard, and Tshepo, each with their own unique usage patterns to take you through it.

All our findings were extracted from Tariffic’s brand new website and cellphone optimisation tool which was launched at the beginning of March 2016.

Key findings from Tariffic’s Perfect Package Tracker – The Handset Edition

  • MTN offers some very compelling handset deals, with its My MTNChoice packages being listed as the “Tariffic Pick” twice and as the 2nd best deal once.
  • Cell C’s Pinnacle packages also performed well appearing as the “Tariffic Pick” on 2 occasions.
  • Within Cell C, the best handset deals are available on the new Pinnacle & Epic packages. The Epic packages are however not well suited for low-use users in comparison to the Straight Up, SmartMore and ChatMore packages, and it is interesting to note that handset deals aren’t readily available on these older packages.
  • Telkom is runner-up appearing as the “Tariffic Pick” once and the 2nd best deal in 2 instances.
  • Within Vodacom, the Red Advantage package offered the best deals for most users.
  • As expected, the addition of a handset to your contract will vastly increase the cost of a contract. If you’re on a tight budget and you are happy with your current phone, rather look at a SIM-only deal.
  • Not all networks offer comparable deals on all phones. For example, the Blackberry Priv is not available on Telkom (according to the Telkom website) and the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 was much more expensive for Susanne on MTN.

Choosing the right contract

Your choice of contract depends on the phone you’re looking for as well as how you use your phone. Use Tariffic’s website ( to find the perfect package for you. Tariffic’s offering is available to the public for FREE for the next few weeks, if you “pay” with a social media share.




Chris has a Blackberry and works in financial services. He calls his wife a few times every day and uses his phone for a handful of business & personal calls during the week. He’s an inconsistent data user, some months using almost nothing and other months using up to 600 MB. At the start of 2015 Chris spent on average R1 200 per month. Chris is looking for a contract with the new Blackberry Priv phone.


Susanne works in public relations and is constantly attached to her Samsung smartphone. She’s always on the phone with her clients and friends and uses quite a lot of data, especially when she’s travelling around the country to meet her clients. Susanne is pretty good at keeping it in bundle and at the start of 2015 spent around R2 100 per month. Susanne has her eye on the Samsung Galaxy Note 5


Dineo is an attorney at a top law firm and uses her iPhone for work calls and email only. Given the nature of her job, Dineo uses a lot of minutes every month, but manages to keep her data use quite minimal. At the start of 2015 Dineo spent around R1700 per month. Dineo is planning on upgrading to the brand new Samsung Galaxy S7


Howard is a post-graduate university student who recently began paying for his own contract, which was previously paid for by his parents. Howard had the same contract for the past 6 years, only ever upgrading to get the newest smartphone. Howard’s usage is fairly average and at the start of 2015 he spent an average of R800 per month. Howard is keen on the Sony Z5 compact.


Tshepo is a student at a prestigious Johannesburg high school and, like most teenagers, can’t be separated from his top-of-the-range iPhone. Tshepo doesn’t make many calls, but he does use a fortune of data, hooked as he is to social media and the latest apps. Tshepo’s parents spend around R1 100 per month. Tshepo has been dreaming about getting the iPhone 6S.


Tariffic constantly analyses the South African cellular market, so that it can help businesses and consumers save on their cell phone bills. Tariffic performs this analysis by using its sophisticated software to match cell phone users with the cheapest tariff plans and bundles, according to their exact behaviour.

The South African cellular market is incredibly complex and the fact is that most people are spending far more than they should on costly cell phone contracts that generally don’t suit their needs. Between Vodacom, Cell C, MTN and Telkom, there are over 10 000 different combinations of cell phone contracts and add-on bundles and its almost impossible for ordinary South African cell phone users to choose the contracts and bundles that actually suit their needs… or their pockets.

At Tariffic, we understand that everyone is unique and that everyone uses their cell phones in their own individual way. It is for this reason that we focus our Tracker on four unique users with their own unique usage patterns. Using our proprietary software we scientifically calculate which packages would be best for each user and how much those packages would cost. We call this tariff optimisation. This quarter, we have shown the best options for each user based on the specific phones that they are looking for.

We optimise many different users every quarter, utilising the exact same parameters each time. We then select a subset of users whose change in recommendations best encapsulate the changes to the cellular market over the period. Doing this allows our Tracker to function as a gauge of the South African cellular landscape, identifying how the cellular market is improving or deteriorating for consumers over time.

We hope that this tracking index will shine some light on the complex cellular market and inform consumers how they should be saving money and selecting their packages.

This is Tariffic’s fifth Perfect Package Tracker since Q1 2015 and it’s designed to measure the real effects price and package changes in South Africa’s postpaid cellular market. The Tracker does this by using Tariffic’s proprietary tariff optimisation software to look at the perfect packages for four distinct users each quarter, and then shed some light on the results.


Tariffic’s optimisations are performed using our award-winning software, which analyses cell phone bills. Tariffic is able to look at a person’s current monthly spend along with exactly how that person uses their phone, in order to calculate what their spend would look like on each network, with the optimal contract/package and bundle combination.

Tariffic’s optimisations tests what a person’s bill would look like on all the different packages and bundle combinations out there and in this way is able to calculate exactly what a cell phone bill would come to each month, taking into account the costs of subscriptions and bundles, as well as the cost of usage over and above subscription (out of bundle spend).

Tariffic’s optimisations do not expect a person to change how they use their phone, as it is based on their own actual historical usage patterns.

Tariffic will only recommends ‘deals’ that are publicly available from the service providers. Tariffic does not take “night-surfer” or any discounted data rates into account for data contracts. Tariffic will only recommend packages from South Africa’s four networks. Tariffic includes an amortised connection fee where applicable and estimates CIB values where they are not available. Note that Tariffic’s recommendations do not take network quality into account and are purely based on price alone.

The following notes are applicable to this quarter’s tracker:

  • Tariffic only offers deals that are publicly available in service providers’ broadsheets.
  • Tariffic does not consider 36 month contract deals.
  • Tariffic only considers deals from the 4 major network operators.


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