How much data is pre-paid?
South African mobile networks earn 57% of their revenue from pre-paid data. This graph is derived from the data in Appendix 3 of the ICASA State of the ICT Sector report in March 2020.
Pre-paid mobile data and voice packages across the world are design to be more expensive. The intention is to encourage the end-user to take out a contract with the provider. This becomes a win-win. The end-user pays a much lower price and the mobile network has projected revenues for the next 24 months.
The problem in South Africa is that this has become a win-lose. The majority of end-users do not qualify for a contract. They do not meet the creditworthiness requirements.
But they still need the data.
They end up losing by continuing to pay a premium price. The mobile network operators end up winning because 57% of their revenue comes from products that are charged at up to 100 times more.