Int Voice and Data costs

Travelling this December?

We have had many requests for a simple explanation of mobile operators international voice & data costs. Ensure you know what you will be charged before leaving on your next trip to avoid “bill shock” when you return.

The MTN and Vodacom’s roaming rates for calls, SMS and data are given below. It is free it receive an SMS when abroad, however MMS are charged as per a previous post and normally based on data costs.

MTN                      Local       Int.        Receive    Send      Data

                              Call          Call       Call            SMS       (PerMB)

Africa                     R 5.00      R 7.00     R 4.00        R 2.00      R 104.00

Asia                        R 8.25      R 25.50   R 4.00        R 3.50      R 140.00

Europe                  R 8.00       R 23.50   R 4.00        R 2.75      R 108.00

Oceania                 R 7.50       R 23.50   R 4.00        R 2.75      R 160.00

South America       R 8.25       R 38.00    R 4.00       R 2.75      R 120.00

North America       R 11.00     R 20.00    R 4.00       R 3.00      R 140.00

Local Africa**         R 3.00      R 5.00      Free            R 1.50       R 10.00

Exclusions*            R 9.50      R 25.50     R 4.00       R 2.75       R 104.00

* Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Tanzania and Zimbabwe

**Botswana (Mascom), Zambia, Swaziland, Rwanda and Uganda.

Vodacom          Local    Int.        Receive   Send     Data

                             Call       Call        Call          SMS       (PerMB)

Neighbours         R 6.00    R 6.00    R 6.00       R 2.75     R 51.20

Sub-Sahara         R 8.00    R 10.00  R 6.00       R 2.75     R 102.40

Rest of World     R 8.00    R 23.00   R 6.00      R 2.75     R 128.00

Saver rates reduce call costs by 10% and data to R17.50 but only if the user roams on a Vodafone partner network in supported countries.

While voice costs are high, our finding indicate that data costs normally account for 80% of a roaming bill!

Beware also alternative VoIP based voice services (like Viber, Skype etc. ) that may use the mobile data network to communicate – these data costs can be far higher for “voice” than using native mobile roaming voice services.

The average user will consume around 20MB per day for occasional laptop / tablet /phone daily web browsing or emails. However, engaging in online activities such as social media, file downloading or online streaming may result in substantially higher data usage. 20MB at an average of R100 /MB (as per the above) will result in a daily cost of R2000!

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