New York-based Tarifica released its Tarifica Score report, which rates all of the postpaid contract prices from all of the networks in South Africa. The report spanned from July through to October this year, and you might just be surprised  as to who Tarifica crowned as the South African winner – which was awarded to Telkom.

The Tarifica Score is built on a proprietary algorithm that determines the value of each contract by analysing bundled data, free minutes and sms as well as each network’s coverage and data speeds while also taking value added features and promotional offers into account.  The Tarifica score was launched in South Africa in July 2014 and is used to score more than 400 networks across 85 different countries. It is used to analyse both contracts that include a phone and  SIM-only, scoring them on a 100 point scale and comparing them against the competition to find the best value across the market.

Telkom was clearly the strongest operator during the period winning more categories than its competitors each month and holding five top rankings at the end of October. Tarifica’s report stated that the reasons for Telkom’s dominance were its “relatively low prices and the generous data allowances included with many of its plans.”

Two of Telkom’s contracts, one SIM- only (Telkom Completely Unlimited) and one with a phone (Telkom SmartPlan 100 with a Samsung Galaxy S5) managed a perfect score of 100 on the index, putting its competitors to shame. The Completely Unlimited package even managed to pull further ahead of the competition with a drop in price from R1 199 a month to R999 a month midway through the testing.

Vodacom, whose network was praised in the report as being the best of all of the networks in terms of data speed ranked in the middle of the pack winning only two categories in July and then failing to win any for the rest of the period. The relatively high prices of its contracts pulled down the overall scores for the red network.

The other incumbent mobile operator, MTN, fared even worse having only won one segment over the period and only in October with drastically higher than average prices, coupled with lower inclusive allowances than other networks to blame.

While it came in second place overall, Cell C’s network was criticised for having the slowest download speeds of any network in the country which pulled down the scores of the other network that runs on Cell C’s backbone, Virgin Mobile, which managed to win one or two segments each month in the lower end of the pricing plans.

So there you have it, the best value for your money if you’re in the market for a contract is Telkom.