After many conversations with kids and parents, the company has identified that most kids would be comfortable with a cellphone package offering enough data for a few minutes of YouTube every day (when they’re not connected to Wi-Fi) and a lot of WhatsApp (messaging and calling), as well as sufficient minutes to call parents in an emergency. Parents are also concerned with their kids being on the wrong package, resulting in hefty bill shock at the end of the month.
Based on the above, the criteria for selecting the best cellphone contracts for kids included:
- The contract must have at least 1GB of data
- The contract must have at least 50 minutes for calls
- Free WhatsApp is a plus but not required
Contracts that help avoid bill-shock are preferable
Tariffic then used its proprietary tariff-optimisation engine to find the perfect packages for kids based on these requirements. The results are interesting in how varied they are.
Commenting on the results, Antony Seeff, Tariffic’s CEO says: “Telkom is clearly the winner, offering the cheapest contract for kids at R133, which is followed by MTN at R199."
Tariffic’s top pick, the Telkom 1GB FreeMe package also comes with free WhatsApp which can be used for messages and voice calls and is very appealing to younger children.
When it comes to choosing what type of contract to get, Tariffic recommends a hybrid or top-up contract. These contracts are ‘topped up’ every month with certain inclusive value (refer to the table for details of the value included). When the value is depleted, parents can purchase prepaid airtime or data bundles to top it up. This way, there is no risk of exorbitant out-of-bundle spend that often catches parents off guard. These contracts are also available with handset deals if parents are looking to get a cellphone for their kids as well.
Even though parents may be swayed to get a cellphone contract for their children, this should be done with caution. The company recommends that parents don’t just give their children a cellphone with a contract without being fully aware of the consequences that come with kids being online, such as cyber-bullying, access to pornography, and other concerns. There are a variety of parental control and parental monitoring apps that the company suggests all parents should consider before opening their children up to the dangers of the internet.
The Tracker findings
Tariffic is not a research company but helps businesses manage and minimise their cellular spend. It uses the data it collects, as part of its normal course of business, to provide South Africans with insight into the local cellular market.
- Tariffic analyses are based on packages that are publicly available in service-providers’ broadsheets and websites.
- Tariffic only shows SIM-only deals and does not consider any handset-deals.
- All tariff information is valid as of end of November 2017.