Mobile operators MTN SA and Cell C have announced price reductions in their respective pre-paid tariffs, hinting that a new price war might be brewing in South Africa’s wireless market, TechCentral reports. Cell C has announced a new promotion which will see pre-paid voice calls slashed to ZAR0.50 (USD0.06) per minute from the previous charge of ZAR0.66, effective 25 July until the end of September. CEO Jose Dos Santos said: ‘This rate cut comes off the back of an overwhelming response we have had from customers to the original offering of ZAR0.66.’ Further, the executive added that the rate might be implemented on a permanent basis, once mobile termination rate (MTR) regulations, governing the tariffs in the country, are clarified. Telecoms watchdog Icasa is currently working on new regulations after its previous MTR proposals were found to be unlawful by the High Court, following a legal challenge by incumbent operators Vodacom and MTN South Africa.
For its part, MTN unveiled a new pre-paid tariff plan, mainly targeting the youth market called ‘Pulse’, which allows subscribers to call each other for ZAR0.29 per minute, matching the on-network rate offered by Telkom Mobile. However, the first 60 seconds of the first call of the day is billed at ZAR0.79 per minute; further, calls to non-Pulse MTN numbers cost ZAR0.79 per minute, while off-net calls are charged at ZAR1.20.