MTN is repricing its WhatsApp bundle offering from R10 a gig to R30 as from the 16th of July 2018 but some exception will apply for poorer consumers.
MTN said WhatsApp usage on its network has increased by 300% in the past two months after it came up with the R10 per gig offer. This spike may have come to compromise the quality of its 3G network.
In April 2018, South Africa’s second biggest mobile phone operator launched its social bundles and introduced a monthly WhatsApp bundle of 1GB for just R10.
The company said the offer came with an unintended consequence. The low-priced WhatsApp data has seen an extraordinary increase in demand on MTN’s 3G network.
The group said its WhatsApp bundle will be repriced from R10 to R30, however, the most vulnerable South Africans that are currently spending less than R10 on WhatsApp per month, will be protected from the change in pricing and will still have access to this low-cost WhatsApp bundles.
“These customers, who are primarily using feature phones on our 3G network, will still pay just R10 a month for their WhatsApp access,” says Mapula Bodibe, MTN SA’s executive for Consumer Business.
For other customers, making use of WhatsApp social bundles, the 1GB WhatsApp bundle will become R30 as of 16 July 2018.
“Social media usage remains a dynamic and ever-changing environment. Our commitment remains to continue driving down the cost of data with a strong focus on alleviating pressure on the most vulnerable in our society. However, to protect the quality of our 3G network for all South Africans, we are having to make this difficult decision.”