The cheapest SIM-only Data Contracts to get in South Africa

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Take advantage of your dual-SIM smartphone’s capabilities of using two SIM cards at the same time by using one for calls and the other to provide you with monthly data.

Mobile data is so important that you can see clothing retailers and banks using cheap data packages to attract customers to their platforms. Cellular networks and Mobile Virtual Network Operators incentivise customers to take up contracts for cheaper data bundles when compared to once-off 30-day data bundle purchases.

There are a lot of different data offerings in South Africa, but mobile data will always be in demand. This article will only consider LTE contracts, excluding Fixed-LTE. Fixed-LTE is not designed for use in your mobile device and as such is not suitable for what we aim to achieve in this guide (Although you can use Telkom’s fixed LTE anywhere there is a Telkom LTE connection).

What are SIM-only data contracts?

A data contract where you receive a SIM card and then get data allocated to the SIM card every month whilst inside the contract.

With a SIM-only data contract you do not get a device, like a cellphone or iPad, and neither do you get any airtime. You cannot load airtime to buy data unless it is a top-up contract.

There are lots of advantages to having a SIM-only contract, too.

  • If you already have a WiFi router for the home you don’t have to buy a new device with a new contract. This makes it easier for moving from contract to contract
  • A month-to-month contract is very flexible. You can move to another service provider who may be cheaper or who’s network connection is better in your area
  • If you have a dual-SIM smartphone you can use one SIM card for phone calls, and the other to give you data

The cheapest Month-to-month SIM-only data contracts

For the cheapest monthly contracts, we’ve broken down how much each of these major mobile network operators cost on a month-to-month contract. Month-to-month contracts, we reckon, are the best SIM-only data contracts to go with because they are cost-effective and ensure flexibility.

If you don’t like a contract because you’ve maybe found something cheaper it is easy to cancel and move on to another contract.

And why would you want a contract? Cellphone contracts have a somewhat bad reputation (perhaps with good reason), but if you learn how to navigate a contract properly you can get more data out of it than with an ordinary prepaid 30 day data.

The following contracts are based on LTE connectivity, which currently give the minimum speeds needed to browse social media like TikTok and watch YouTube videos without your video buffering.

We did not include data of between 1GB and 9GB. Those contracts usually cost less than R200 per month in repayments, which are at the minimum and are insignificant when it comes to savings. What we want to see are the savings that you get with a monthly package that you can use to watch videos and browse your social media using an existing device like a tablet or dual-SIM cellphone.

The cheapest 10GB data contract

These are the cheapest monthly data contracts that allocate a minimum of 10GB and a maximum of 15GB. The entire 10GB should be available for use at any time of day. So, no night time data is included in these deals, or any sort of restriction due to time of day or fair use policy should be applied.

Service Provider10GB PackageCost per month
FNB ConnectLTE Top up Data Only 10GBR139 pm
MTNMobile Internet Gold 15GBR149 pm
Axxess15 GB MTN DataR249 pm
Air Mobile (Afrihost)Mobile Ten 10GBR150 pm
Telkom10GB LTE WirelessR59pm, plus R201.75 Once-off activation fee
SIM-only 10GB monthly data contracts available in South Africa.

Telkom has the cheapest 10GB month-to-month SIM-only contract at R59 per month. Even with the once-off payment of the initiation fee of just over R200 it will run the average South African very cheaply to keep up with. Telkom also throws into the deal a 10GB Night Time Surfer data bundles, too.

The Telkom 10GB LTE Wireless package.
The Telkom 10GB LTE Wireless package. Image source: telkom.co.za

The cheapest 30GB data contract

The next logical step for data is usually between thirty and fifty, where more data is needed because of the number of people in the house and their need to be connected to the internet reliably.

For that purpose a bigger package will usually solve the problem. You can choose these packages to comfortably watch two or three DSTV shows a day, stream kids YouTube shows for about 2 hours a day, and work from home during the day.

Service Provider30GB PackageCost per month
FNB ConnectLTE Top up Data Only 50GBR299 pm
MTNMobile Internet Platinum 30GBR215 pm
Axxess25 GB MTN DataR299 pm
Air Mobile (Afrihost)Mobile Forty 40GBR450 pm
Telkom40GB LTE WirelessR149 pm, plus R201.75 Once-off activation fee
SIM-only 40GB monthly data contracts available in South Africa.

The cheapest data that ranges for between 30GB and 50GB is Telkom. Choose their 40GB LTE Wireless for R149 per month.

We recommend the 80GB LTE Wireless package for R199 per month. It has enough data for you to browse TIkTok and Instagram, but will leave you with enough for your Teams meetings during the day.

The cheapest 100GB data contract

Do you have a teenager to keep entertained and educated? With the capability to host three people using the internet moderately, a 100GB package can handle TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram browsing until the next allocation of monthly data.

Service Provider100GB PackageCost per month
MTNMobile Internet Diamond 200GBR399 pm
Air Mobile (Afrihost)Mobile Hundred 100GBR475 pm
Telkom120GB LTE WirelessR249 pm, plus R201.75 Once-off activation fee
SIM-only 100GB monthly data contracts available in South Africa.

For between 100GB and 200GB data Telkom 120GB LTE Wireless for R249 per month is the cheapest.

If you can spare an extra R150, we recommend the MTN Mobile Internet Diamond 200GB for R399 per month. It gives you bang-for-your-buck, at 50cent per Gigabyte. You can share these data bundles with your family’s MTN numbers using the MTN Data Share feature, making it even more appealing.

Frequently Asked Questions about SIM-only data deals

Q: Does Vodacom have a month-to-month data contract?

A: No, Vodacom Sales has confirmed to us that they do not have a month-to-month SIM-only data contract. They can only provide their subscribers with a 24 or 36-month contract.

Moemedi Segoje

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