SA’s First SIM-Only mobile provider ready for launch


South Africans are spoiled for choice when it comes to mobile network operators, and soon we will have one more to choose from: the newest company that will be launching in South Africa on the 4th of May is mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) called me&you mobile. It will also be the country’s first SIM-only mobile service provider.

A MVNO service provider is a mobile company that doesn’t own its own network, but rather piggy-backs on another mobile operator’s existing infrastructure.

But even though me&you mobile is a MVNO, it’s aim is to offer the lowest call rates in the country and plans to give its customers the opportunity to craft their own mobile packages – doing away with the traditional 24-month contract.

“Local mobile users have been conditioned to believe in the perceived benefits of the mobile contract, only to be locked in for 24 months while paying more than they expected. Big mobile networks often use outdated business models that limit consumer freedom and impose hidden costs, such as handset costs, that subsidise their massive overheads. And now users are expected to absorb the recent unforeseen mobile tariff hikes,” said Brett Howell, chief executive of me&you mobile, in a media statement.

In preparation for the launch on 4 May the company has announced some of its rates:

As noted in the company’s pricing structure above, me&you mobile will launch an introductory offer to the first 1 500 customers who sign up for R300 a month, where they will get unlimited talk time to any network, any time of day.

“me&you mobile is breaking the mould by bringing a lean, digitally efficient business model to the mobile market. We’ve done our homework and we’ll offer people what they really want – simple, flexible, fairly priced mobile options and great customer service without hidden extras,” Howell added.

South Africa already has two MVNOs, Red Bull Mobile and Mr Price Mobile, but Howell is of the opinion that SA is ready for more.

“The local mobile market, worth R100billion a year, is stuck in a rut. Consumers demand greater freedom and control in the digital era we live in, and MVNOs that make it easy to take control of your mobile spending with flexible online tools will appeal to internet savvy people.”

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