Cell C subscribers will pay R223,900 per GB to roam on MTN Nigeria’s network and R151,400 per GB to roam on Vodacom Mozambique’s network – pricing which the mobile operators do not seem too concerned about.
Vodacom, MTN, and Cell C have previously explained that when it comes to roaming data prices, they pass on the bill which they receive from their roaming partners.
The blame for the exorbitant international roaming rates was always put on the roaming partner in the country in question.
In this case, Vodacom and MTN are the international roaming partners of Cell C. From their previous comments, it follows that the two mobile operators are to blame for the high data prices.
However, when asked why they charge Cell C subscribers such high roaming data rates, the story changed.
Vodacom said Cell C is best placed to comment on the rates it charges its customers.
MTN said roaming rates are subject to special agreements between operators. In the absence of such an agreement, the terms and related charges set out in a standard international roaming agreement apply.
“In the case of Cell C, no special agreement exists between the operator and MTN Nigeria or MTN Group to enable their customers to enjoy special roaming rates on the MTN network outside South Africa,” said MTN.
MTN said it cannot comment on the reasons behind Cell C’s decision to charge their roamers R223.90 per MB, as it is the customer’s operator which determines the final amount to charge.
Cell C explains
Cell C said in the international roaming business, the host operators publish standard rates.
“Any deviation from the published standard rates has to be negotiated on a one-to-one basis between the host operator and the visitor network,” said Cell C.
With more than 200 countries and more than 800 operators, it can be a cumbersome process, said Cell C.
Cell C said it attempts to negotiate the best possible international roaming rates it can.
“Depending on the country, we focus on one or two preferred operators. In Nigeria, our preferred roaming partners are Airtel and Glo Mobile, which offer Cell C customers preferential rates,” it said.
Cell C said it is in the process of renegotiating the international roaming rates with its roaming partners, especially the data rates.
“We expect improved rates by the beginning of next year for a number of countries, including Mozambique.”
What Cell C subscribers pay to roam on Vodacom and MTN
The table below shows how much Cell C subscribers pay to roam on Vodacom and MTN’s international networks.