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By 4 September 2012 | Categories: feature articles

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With the growing popularity of smartphones and tablets, and the vast majority of users in South Africa relying on mobile connections to access the internet, for many, data usage has become even more important than voice or SMS services.

However, like most things in life, constant or at least consistent connectivity comes with a price tag. The good news is that if you don't want to be tied in to a contract, or simply want to control the cost of feeding the data demon, all the service providers have data offerings that are quite competitive and even compelling. However, what each has in common, is that the larger the data bundle, and the more money users spend, the better value for money they receive.

Finding the right deal across the board from service providers such as MTN, Vodacom, 8ta and Cell C, that best suits you, particularly when comparing them to each other, can be a little confusing or even confounding, as each structure their offerings differently.

8ta

8ta offers the most straightforward means of selecting one's prepaid data options.

8ta data bundle

Additionally, the company is currently running two promotions. The first of these, the 2 GB + 1 GB, gives users 3 GB for R149 once off. The 2 GB mentioned accounts for the 2 GB of data, while the 1 GB portion of the special is a night surfer offering which comes into effect between 11 pm and 5 am.

In a similar fashion, the 60 GB + 60 GB promotion offers 60 GB of data anytime for a once off fee of R1 800, and is accompanied by a further 60 GB night surfer component between 11 pm and 5 am. It's worth noting however, that the 8ta offerings are limited to areas which fall under 8ta's coverage.

Cell C

Cell C recently raised eyebrows with its regular data rates, which were slashed considerably and were largely expected to send ripples through the industry. The company dropped its rates to R0.15 per megabyte, for in and out-of-bundle usage across its entire data product portfolio, which is a far cry from the R1 or R2 per megabyte rate we see elsewhere. This applies to its range of bundle, which include a 50 MB, 100 MB, 300 MB, 500 MB, 1 GB, 2 GB, 5 GB and 10 GB offerings. The company also has a rather decent variety of prepaid data packages that merit a look.

Cell C data bundle

MTN

MTN's internet bundles include its one day prepaid plan, which provides uncapped internet access for a single day within a fair use policy. Users effectively 'subscribe' or opt in to an add on, and pay a set fee to access a service for one month, but aren't obligated to continue purchasing past the expiry. Any unused data carries over for an additional month.

MTN data bundle

Vodacom

Also offering several prepaid bundles - in fact, the most number on this list - is Vodacom.

Vodacom data bundle

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