Earlier this week, South Africa’s Competition Commission released a report which observed that the cost of data in the country has become too high. In a bid to remedy the situation for the sake of consumers, the commission called on operators (particularly MTN Group Limited and Vodacom) to quickly reduce the amounts they charge.

According to the report, which was published on the Commission’s website, South Africans pay a lot for data subscription compared to what obtains in other African markets. The report even claimed that customers in other African countries where MTN and Vodacom also operate, pay less than their counterparts in South Africa.

“Furthermore, current comparisons of the prices charged by Vodacom and MTN in other African markets in which they operate also reveal that South African prices are higher than most countries by some distance…

“Firstly, the Commission has made recommendations for immediate relief on data pricing focusing on the level and structure of pricing. These include requirements for MTN and Vodacom to reach agreement with the Commission on reductions to the level of pricing and changes to the structure of pricing and pricing strategies that facilitate greater exploitation. There is scope for price reductions in the region of 30% to 50%.”

MTN’s parent company faults regulator’s recommendation for data price reduction 
Competition Commission

Reacting to this development, MTN Group Limited said the Competition Commission was wrong with its assessment and recommendation that data price be reduced. Reuters also quoted a statement from the company, parts of which reads thus:

“As we study the full report, (we) will continue to engage constructively and vigorously defend against over-broad and intrusive recommendations.”

[READ MORE: MTN unveils 5G Network in Nigeria]

In the meantime, the companies have two months to reduce their prices. Failure to do this would warrant prosecution from the Competition Commission.

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MTN Group Limited is the parent company of MTN Nigeria Communication Plc which has been dominating the Nigerian telecoms industry in recent years. Nairametrics reported earlier today that the company is currently winning the data war according to indicators published by the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC.

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It should be noted that Nigerian customers also complain about what they perceive as MTN’s exorbitant data prices.

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