SA Competition Commission reaches agreement with MTN to cut data costs

JOHANNESBURG  – South Africa’s Competition Commission said on Thursday it had reached a consent agreement with mobile telecommunications firm MTN to reduce data costs.

In a statement, the commission said it had referred the agreement to the Competition Tribunal for confirmation as an order.

Last December the Competition Commission released findings of a probe initiated in 2017 after a sustained public outcry, which confirmed that South Africa’s data prices were too high, relative to the rest of the continent.

The report recommended that MTN and rival Vodacom, the two largest mobile network operators in the country, reach agreement with the commission to reduce data prices, particularly for pre-paid monthly bundles, as well as the cost per 1MB (megabyte) for smaller bundles.

Vodacom signed an agreement with the commission last month to cut data costs by more than 30 percent from April 1 and committed to a two-year substantial reduction of monthly data bundles across the board.