When benchmarked against other countries, data costs in South Africa remain some of the most expensive.
According to a study conducted in 2016 – which compared the prices that local consumers pay for “data only” packages with the prices in other BRICS-member countries like Brazil, Russia, India and China – found that South Africa was consistently the second most expensive for 1GB, 2GB, and 3GB data contracts, with Brazil being the most expensive.
“Data prices for South Africa were on average 134% more expensive than the cheapest prices in the group,” the report read.
Similar findings from Research ICT Africa ranked South Africa 16th across 47 African countries, in a study outlining the average cost of 1GB of data.
In fact, earlier this month it was reported that the The National Competitions Commission (NCC) had acknowledged the need for increased competition and lower prices across the entire communications spectrum. They are working with the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) to ensure that high mobile data costs in South Africa aren’t causing consumers to be ripped off.
Some have attributed high data costs in South Africa to limited spectrum availability, which prevents small service providers from entering the market. “If we can look into allocating more spectrum and introducing more competition, then the costs may come down,” said Paseka Maleka, a spokesperson for Icasa, last year.
High data costs have also been attributed to the massive costs involved in establishing innovative and advanced telecoms infrastructure. It’s a matter of supply and demand – while mobile operators are happy to install cell towers in both urban and rural areas, there is a disparity in their return on investment when installing these towers in different areas. And these costs are passed to all users.
How mobile expense management can help
For businesses, it’s important to effectively manage company mobile networks in order to avoid unnecessary costs. Mobile expense management is a subset of telecoms expense management (TEM) and it can help businesses of all sizes and across all industries mitigate these high data costs. Below are just a few of the main benefits of MEM, each offering your business opportunities to counteract high data costs.
Creating spend awareness: Traditional telecoms expense management processes don’t really provide a clear image of business spending. With MEM software, you are able to track spend in such intricate detail that you achieve a comprehensive understanding of where money is going, which can later be used to reduce unnecessary costs.
Upping efficiency: Typically, a mobile spend management system can drastically reduce the time it takes to process expenses. For mobile employees, these digital tools offer a quick and simple way to log personal and business expenses.
Enabling workforce mobility: By 2022, it’s predicted that roughly 43% of the global workforce will be working remotely. Allowing your mobile teams to use their personal devices and mobile apps to get their jobs done has been shown to up efficiency and productivity.
Sending notifications in real time: With cloud-based mobile expense tracking technologies, users will be sent notifications to prevent overspending. This functionality makes company policy an active part of your daily workflow.
Building a strong company culture: If you’ve been reading our blog recently, you’ll know that millennial workers demand an attractive workplace environment before signing up for a new job. Digital tools and advanced mobile technologies that enable their flexible working styles are part of these demands.
In an era of high mobile data costs, you need a fast, flexible way to manage mobile expenses. If you’re keen to realise the benefits TEM and MEM, we’re here to help. Complete the form below and we’ll be in touch with more information.