Cell C blames rand, inflation for data price hikes

2017-01-11 11:49 - Kyle Venktess, Fin24
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Cell C is pushing to grow market share in SA. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

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Johannesburg - Following a robust #datamustfall campaign in South Africa, Cell C has moved to hike its mobile data tariffs in the country.

“Rising inflation, the rand, US Dollar exchange and uncertainty in the industry over the allocation of spectrum, have all contributed to an increase in the cost to provide mobile services to consumers,” Cell C told Fin24 in a statement.

The mobile network added that despite best efforts to keep prices unchanged, the rising cost to supply mobile network services has necessitated an increase in the price charged to the end consumer.

“The broader economic environment including GDP growth and inflation plays a role in rising costs. Additionally, annual increases to support costs and operational expenditure have a large impact on our costs,” they said.

READ: Cell C takes aim at Telkom with cheap data

In a statement sent to its customers, the mobile network said that it would submit the amended tariff plan information to the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) as per the current regulations.

“As per the notification you have received from Cell C, there are certain pricing and product changes that will come into effect on 1 February 2017,” Cell C said in a statement to its customers.

The price of Cell C’s SmartData Bundles has increased with the cheapest 25MB bundle rising by R2 to R10, and biggest bundle of 500MB increasing by R9 to R99.

Cell C’s SmartData Contracts have also increased with SmartData 500MB now costing R45, up from R39. Meanwhile, 1GB now costs R75 and 10GB, which previously cost R299, is now priced at R349 per month.

READ: Cell C ‘gives away’ cash in new contract drive

“The single biggest input cost is network equipment, which is procured from international vendors. This equipment is priced in US Dollars and any change in the rand has a significant impact on a company’s capital expenditure and operating expenses,” Cell C went further to say.

Cell C has also removed their Nite Data bundle from SmartData TopUp contracts activated from February 1 2017.

Customers, who are in contracts currently, will continue to receive their Nite Data allocation until the end of their contract term.

“Notwithstanding the price increase, Cell C’s products and services remain extremely competitive. We will continue to find ways to bring customers more value and where possible pass on the benefit of any cost reduction as and when we can,” Cell C told Fin24.

See Cell C’s full tariff changes here.

@KyleVenktess on Twitter.

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