24 May 2012 – MTN today launched it’s Euro-Saver roaming offer – but only for 8 European countries.
Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and the UK.
Contract customers (not Pre-Paid) will pay R10,66/minute for international calls and R14.34/MB when roaming. The service is directly aimed at undercutting Vodacom’s Super Saver data rate of R17.50/MB (albeit in a limited number of countries).
It is no surprise that these operators are now reducing European tariffs; under recent changes legislated by the European Union (EU) mobile regulator, EU operators must, for example, offer wholesale data rates of around R7/MB. This clearly indicates our home networks intend to still make substantial profits from international roaming.
Another advantage of MTN’s Euro-Saver rates is that they apply when roaming on any operator in a Euro-Saver country. Vodacom’s Super Saver rates only apply on its partner networks and may require the user to disable Automatic network selection on their mobiles and Manually select the appropriate operator to ensure the savings accrue.
MTN users beware – for the rest of Europe, customers will continue to pay R23,50/minute for international calls and R110/MB for data. Asia and North America remain the most expensive regions for data, where MTN users will pay R143/MB. For international calls, Asia and South America are the most expensive at R25,50/minute and R38/minute respectively!
With all the OTT voice services available (Skype, Fring, Viber etc) it is a wonder why users continue to pay these exorbitant voice rates when roaming.
If quality is a concern (user does not wish to use internet telephony), there are cheaper carrier grade alternatives available.
More importantly, being totally mobile and connected when roaming (no WiFi Hotspot dependency) is available at a third of these providers “Saver” rates. Alternative solutions also offer a key benefit; real time billing, allowing total cost control (Vodacom or MTN subscribers can wait up to 3 months for roaming charges to appear on their bills).