- MTN says it is increasing the prices for its consumer price plan subscription fees by an average of 5.1 percent.
- This price hike is due to increases in MTN’s input costs driven by loadshedding and fuel usage.
- Instalments on smartphones and other devices as part of contracts will not be affected by this increase.
Bad news for MTN customers as the largest telecom in Africa announced on Wednesday an overall increase in its consumer price plan subscription fees by an average of 5.1 percent. These prices are set to come into effect from 1st April 2023.
“The impact of the inflationary environment has resulted in increased input costs, driven by loadshedding and rising fuel usage, which have been further aggravated by ongoing battery theft and vandalism. All of this has compelled MTN to review its contract pricing,” explains MTN in a press statement sent to Hypertext.
The telecom adds that in some instances, the actual subscription fee increase may be higher than the average of 5.1 percent, with a maximum of 7.4 percent.
This mainly represents a R10 increase from R135 to R145 on its Mega XS price plans. Voice call rates per minute have increased on average by 4.0 percent or a maximum of 10c per minute whereas the out-of-bundle data and SMS rates have been significantly reduced to R0.25 per MB and R0.35 per message respectively.
Luckily, MTN says that instalments on “handsets and other devices” as part of contract deals will not be affected by the increase.
“While these cost increases are unavoidable, we continue to invest in our network and battery rollout to ensure our customers enjoy the best connectivity in the country,” says MTN SA’s chief of consumer, Ernst Fonternel
“We remain committed to working with local authorities, communities and our partners to look for innovative solutions to tackle the relentless theft and vandalism of our sites across the country, which continue to increase our spend on repair and security,” Fonternel adds.
The consumer chief says MTN wants to assure its customers that it will continue building network resilience with batteries, generators and added security at its infrastructure points.
Last year MTN launched a crowd-sourcing initiative to find local SMEs who could provide generators and batteries for its towers. The incessant loadshedding causes widespread signal drops and MTN has had to spend millions on diesel fuel to keep its towers operational during the blackouts.
However, despite this recent price hike, Fonternel indicates that overall data prices at the telecom have decreased since the purchase of additional high-demand spectrum in 2022.
“[The purchase of spectrum] has complemented MTN’s ongoing commitment to further drive down the cost to communicate in South Africa in terms of which we have reduced the average effective rate per MB by more than 38 percent over the past three years,” Fonternel says.
Customers who have signed up for the existing price plans have been informed about the price plan adjustments by MTN’s customer service representatives.
The price plan increase date may vary depending on the customer’s billing cycle. However, all terms and conditions will remain the same.
MTN says communication has been sent to all affected customers. To view the adjusted rates, customers can visit Terms and Conditions (mtn.co.za)