Well, here’s a turn-up for the books: Telkom apparently offers the best value for cellphone users looking to pay as they go, capturing several Top Value Plan positions across light, moderate and heavy user profiles in Tarifica’s latest telecoms study.

Tarifica specialises in tracking telecom pricing information around the world, something it’s been doing for the past four decades, and it uses complex algorithms to determine who’s winning at what, taking into account a wide variety of factors to provide accurate statistics based on user and usage profiles.

The company has been doing this for the South African telecoms industry since July of 2014, but this marks the first time prepaid plans have been included. Don’t confuse Tarifica with local company Tariffic, by the way, which does a similar report on a regular basis.

By the looks of it, Telkom cleaned up in the “Top Value Plan” category. The report says “Telkom captured three Top Value Plan positions in the light user profile, seven in the moderate user profile and five in the heavy user profile. Its success was based on having the second least expensive per-minute calling rate and aggressively priced SMS and data bundles that allow users to easily scale to match their mobile usage.”

Cell C’s success in the Top Overall Value Plan category and two others was apparently “…based on having the least expensive per-minute calling rate in South Africa and effective bundling”, and MTN scored best in the moderate and heavy user profile categories.

Vodacom, meanwhile, didn’t win in any categories because of its “…relatively high per-minute and per-SMS rates”, but Tarifica stated it performed better in the moderate and heavy categories than it did in the light.

Tarifica’s South African analyst, Beth Teitel, wrote that “Telkom had strong plans and a variety of options at virtually every price point. MTN and Cell C were each competitive in one or two profiles, but only Telkom’s plans provided strong consumer value across the board.”

So there you have it. Should you want to go prepaid and you don’t want to pay through the nose for it, check out Telkom’s options.

Deon got his first taste of PC gaming at the tender age of 11 when his father bought an 8088 XT, ostensibly to "help him with his homework". Instead, it introduced him to Leisure Suit Larry, King Graham, Sonny Bonds and many more, and Deon has been a PC gamer and hardware enthusiast ever since. He landed his first professional writing gig in 2006 at a prestigious local PC magazine, a very happy happenstance as he got to write for a living about things he loves - tech, PCs, gaming, and everything in between. He's been writing about it all ever since, and loves every minute of it.