The data cost of WhatsApp voice calling in SA

The data cost of WhatsApp voice calling in SA

The data cost of WhatsApp voice calling in SA

This is what it will cost to make a WhatsApp voice call in South Africa

WhatsApp voice calls will cost South African mobile data bundle users as little as 2c per minute, or as much as 92c per minute in out-of-bundle or ad-hoc data usage.

The as-yet unreleased voice over Internet Protocol calling feature for WhatsApp became widely available in recent weeks when the messaging company opened the service on aninvitation basis.

Android users were able to download a new version of WhatsApp, and when they received a call the app’s interface would change to allow voice calls to be made.

Tests conducted on WhatsApp voice calling on Android indicated that the VoIP call can consume up to 470 kilobytes (KB) of data per minute.

Multiplying this data usage with the converted per-Megabyte (MB) prices of data from South Africa’s mobile operators yielded an interesting comparison of what a WhatsApp call might cost in South Africa.

While using a data bundle smaller than 2GB bolted onto your existing cellular voice service, you can pay as little as 3c per minute for a WhatsApp voice call.

WhatsApp voice call data costs
100MB in-bundle data Price Per-MB rate WhatsApp per-minute
Cell C R19 R0.19 R0.087
Vodacom R29 R0.29 R0.133
MTN (+55MB/3d) R29 R0.29 R0.133
Telkom (All) R30 R0.30 R0.138
500MB in-bundle data Price Per-MB rate WhatsApp per-minute
Afrihost* R29 R0.058 R0.027
Axxess* R29 R0.058 R0.027
MWEB* R39 R0.078 R0.036
Telkom (Own) R69 R0.138 R0.063
Cell C R85 R0.170 R0.078
MTN R99 R0.198 R0.091
Vodacom R99 R0.198 R0.091
1GB in-bundle data Price Per-MB rate WhatsApp per-minute
Axxess* R49 R0.048 R0.022
Afrihost* R58 R0.057 R0.026
MWEB* R69 R0.067 R0.031
Telkom (Own) R119 R0.116 R0.053
Cell C R149 R0.146 R0.067
Vodacom R149 R0.146 R0.067
MTN See 2GB
2GB in-bundle data Price Per-MB rate WhatsApp per-minute
Axxess* R79 R0.039 R0.018
Afrihost* R99 R0.048 R0.022
MWEB* R99 R0.048 R0.022
MTN R149 R0.073 R0.033
Telkom (Own) R149 R0.073 R0.033
Cell C R245 R0.120 R0.055
Vodacom R249 R0.122 R0.056
Items marked with an * are data-only services

On data-only services such as those offered by Afrihost, Axxess, and MWEB, the effective cost can come down to 2c per minute on their 2GB packages.

When larger data bundles are considered from both the mobile operators and mobile data-only service providers, the cost of a WhatsApp voice call becomes as low as 1c per minute or less.

Looking at out-of-bundle (OOB) and ad-hoc data usage, however, the cost of a WhatsApp call can go up to 92c per minute on Vodacom’s R2/MB OOB data rate.

Other operators have significantly lower OOB options on their pre-paid tariff plans, with Telkom’s SIM Sonke package standing out at 29c/MB.

The table below summarises how much a WhatApp voice call will cost when paying OOB data rates.

OOB data Per-MB rate WhatsApp per-minute
Afrihost* R0.10 R0.046
MWEB* R0.30 R0.138
Cell C R0.99 R0.454
Telkom (Own) R0.29 – R1.00 R0.13 – R0.46
MTN R0.99 R0.454
Vodacom R1.00 – R2.00 R0.46 – R0.92
Axxess* N/A N/A
Items marked with an * are data-only services

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