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Undersea cables, towers and ubuntu all have a role to play in keeping South Africans connected.
There’s more than one way to optimise your data. In our series, we’ll show you clever ways to make the most of your data and explore how Vodacom keeps millions of South Africans connected to the internet.
Have you ever wondered how data really works? Behind every selfie, every picture of your mum and dad, every 360 video and Kardashian emoji, data flows like a river to and from your devices. The internet is made up of millions of computers, phones and servers all around the world, and undersea cables, satellites and various land-based connections bring everything to your fingertips, just when you need it.
Vodacom’s own network of cellphone towers covers most of South Africa. To make sure everyone enjoys fast speeds at affordable rates, Vodacom provides a variety of capped data bundles with varying expiry periods.
Bundles provide a service
Why does your data expire? What you’re paying for, actually, is access to Vodacom’s network for a period of time, up to a certain amount of data. What’s the reason for this? It helps Vodacom optimise their network, and they can predict spikes in data usage that can have an effect on users’ experience. The more efficiently a mobile operator can run its network, the more it can pass on the cost saving benefit to customers.
Bundles make space for everyone
Data is packaged into bundles so that Vodacom planners have an idea of how much capacity they need to cater for. Selling data in bundles makes it easier for them to estimate how much data their customers will use every month. If data didn’t expire, it would become difficult to estimate traffic volumes, leading to network congestion – like a data traffic jam.
Bundles are more affordable for everyone
Data bundles also make mobile data services more affordable. In the early days of the internet, for example, companies would buy an uncapped data stream that flowed at 2Mbps for around R40 000 per month. Smaller units known as data bundles were introduced that were more affordable.
Today, 50MB of data costs as little as R3 on prepaid. Over the past year alone, the cost of data at Vodacom has dropped by 24%, mostly because of platforms like ‘Just 4 You’ that deliver personalised offers to customers in real time.