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SPTC cuts Backbone infrastructure costs


MTN Swaziland’s price transformation is due to the Swaziland Post and Telecommunication Corporation’s reduction of their backbone infrastructure prices as well as wholesale prices.


This was stated by MTN’s Head of Corporate Services Sibusiso Nhleko on Friday. He said the regulator Swaziland Communication Commission (SCCOM) had a vested interest in ensuring that there was reduced wholesale pricing from SPTC, the provider of backbone infrastructure, hence their ability to reduce prices. 

The national backbone infrastructure is operated by SPTC as provided by legislation which gives it an exclusive nationwide licence for, establishing, constructing, maintaining and operating  national telecommunications within Swaziland and MTN Swaziland pays a monthly fee to the company.

According to well-placed sources, the backbone infrastructure costs were reduced by about 25 per cent recently as well as wholesale prices and it was in this regard that MTN was able to apply for the reduction of prices across most of its product offerings of up to 63 per cent as was stated by the mobile company on Friday. When SPTC Corporate Communication Manager Nqobile Magagula was called to confirm the reduction of the backbone infrastructure monthly rental fee and whether it was  a reason for the reduction of prices by MTN, she said, “We are not privy to MTN Swaziland’s strategies hence we cannot for certain state how they came to their price cuts.” 

She however confirmed knowledge of the reduction of wholesale pricing. Of note is that reductions were stated to be on products such as the SMS facility from 80 to 30 cents as well as reductions of calls from E1.80 to E1.20. 


Five data packages to choose from


MTN Swaziland customers now have five data packages to choose from. 

This was revealed by Chief Consumer Officer Sam Shongwe while explaining the company’s price transformation during a meeting with reporters from various media houses which took place at the company’s headquarters on Friday afternoon. 

He said there were several packages created for different demographics. 

The youth can take advantage of the Snappy Bundles which was launched at the Bushfire Festival over a week ago. He said users could take advantage of offerings such as their Night Bundle, Social Bundles as well as their WOW Reloaded Bundles whereas the standard bundle rate would decrease from E1.14 to 99 cents.

MTN Data transferable again, extendable 
Following the cessation of data sharing, the price transformation by MTN Swaziland will see customers able to share them from Friday when the new pricing structure commences.
Not only will customers be able to share them, they will no longer lose them after their 30-day validity period in the event they top them up prior to expiration. 
This is according to the mobile company’s proposal to discontinue the standard bundle package which will be merged with WOW Bundles.
The proposal to the regulator, Swaziland Communication Commission, states, “MTN’ shall introduce Data Share on WOW Bundles but limit it to only two free shares per person per day. Any additional share would attract a 10c charge.” 
Previously, data was shared using the *567*number*MB# code but was however discontinued after the company noted how vendors bought a lot of data and sold it resulting in reduced revenue share for the company. Thereafter, vendors were enabled to sell data through their Virtual Top-Up (VTU) platform. 
The validity period of data was also capped at 30 days last year to the outcry of members of the public. This compliant was loudest after the introduction of WOW Bundles where users would purchase bundles without noting they were for a day and find themselves without the next day as they expired at midnight within a 24-hour period. 
This was however amended after user education whereas the 30-day validity period subsisted. Of note, the validity renewal of data bundles has been ongoing on some of the packages wherein users would note extension of their leftover data whenever they topped up prior to their expiry. 
The proposal states that customer will be notified when data is about to expire. 
“Once the customer has enough funds to purchase the same bundle they subscribed to, a deduction is done automatically. Customer is notified via SMS and the customer can then carry over all unused data to the next cycle. This means the customer will never lose unused data and is assured seamless experience,” the proposal states.
No more data charges when there is no network
The ‘fault’ which saw internet users charged for usage even when there is no network has been resolved. 
MTN Swaziland Data and Device Manager Alex Lushaba assured that this was a thing of the past when asked by this publication. He said the issue was resolved about a month ago as users could now rest assured that they were being charged for data consumption. 
Users have been bothered by the data charge despite network outages as their devices would indicate 0.017MB had been consumed at times without getting the pages to load.
He said in the event the user was charged and page fails to load, it basically meant that there was connection without fulfilment of the user’s request. 

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