On Tuesday MTN launched its 5G network in South Africa.

While the offering includes a number of prepaid options with limited data caps, there is also an Unlimited offering that gives you as much data as you can use.

At least, that’s what we’ve come to understand the word “unlimited” to mean.

Clearly we have different dictionary to that of MTN which states that its 24-month and 36-month Unlimited Data plan contracts have a fair use policy (FUP) of 400GB. Of that amount, 200GB is reserved for Night Express access.

However, when you hit that 200GB mark on your day-time data your speed will be throttled to a barely usable 1Mbps.

To give you an idea of how low that figure is last month I had used 216GB of data by 9th June. If I was on MTN’s 5G plans, I’d have sat with internet at 1Mbps for another 21 days.

There’s also the matter of price to consider. A 24-month contract which includes a 5G [email protected] router will cost you R1 249 per month. Over 36 months you will pay R999 per month for the same offer.

Considering the FUP of 200GB, why not just get a 200GB package?

At R1 099 for a 24-month contract (which only includes a SIM card) or R849 for a 36-month, a 200GB contract gives you the same amount of data without the FUP.

Even MTN’s 5G 300GB package is better priced than the Unlimited package and you’ll get 100GB at full 5G speed rather than 1Mbps.

For those interested, a 5GB 300GB package starts at R1 199 per month for 24 months and drops to R949 per month for 36-months.

While we understand that an unlimited contract is better for some folks, going from a claimed 800Mbps down to 1Mbps is a massive drop in performance and you will notice it.

Our advice then is to look at one of the other, limited data contracts being offered or alternatively stick with pay-as-you-go.

While you are still able to use the internet at 1Mbps it’s akin to showering using a kettle. Slow, aggravating and not much fun.

We’ve asked MTN whether it would consider increasing this FUP should users hit that 1Mbps wall too often and should we receive a response, we will update this story.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]
Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.