Affordable and Reliable Internet Access Key to Economic Growth, Says Standard Bank Mobile
In the post-COVID-19 environment, access to digital devices and the internet has become a must-have for schoolwork, healthcare, communicating with friends and family, finding a job, or creation of a business. Yet many South African families remain disconnected and are therefore excluded from the opportunities afforded by connectivity.
According to the State of ICT in South Africa report, most South Africans cannot afford to go online due to the cost of data and lack of internet-enabled devices. Data costs in South Africa are notoriously high compared to other emerging markets, with research showing that South Africa’s data costs are approximately six times higher compared to other emerging economies.
“But the pandemic, which has accelerated reliance on digital platforms, has made the need for high-speed internet access more urgent than ever,” says Standard Bank’s Lee Ramsden. “At the same time, however, consumers are under tremendous financial pressure. As a country, it is essential that we focus on reducing the cost of the Internet to ensure equal opportunities for the citizens of the country, which will ultimately accelerate economic and social development.
There has been a significant increase in demand for internet access due to the pandemic and remote working and learning. In 2021, 36.45 million South Africans accessed the internet through any type of mobile device. In 2026, this figure is expected to rise to almost 43 million mobile Internet users, up 17.5% from 2021, according to figures from Statista.
Recognizing the need for affordable and reliable internet access, and the potential this holds for economic growth, Standard Bank has focused on providing cost-effective internet solutions for its customers. Recently, Standard Bank became the first bank in the country to launch a fixed LTE solution, via Standard Bank Mobile, with prices ranging from R39 per month for 5GB (top-up) “one-time data anytime” to R799 per month. for 1,000 GB of “anytime data”.
Standard Bank’s fixed LTE solution enables a data connection without the physical fiber infrastructure, but still offers the benefit of a high-speed data connection. “It’s important to us that our customers are connected, equipped with products that allow them to be digitally activated, easy to install and also allow easy recharging and management through our website,” says Ramsden.
Fixed LTE service is designed for use at your home, office or specific location, and the service will be locked to the address for which you placed the order. If you decide to move, you can request that your Standard Bank Fixed-LTE be moved to another location up to twice per calendar year.
Standard Bank Mobile Fixed LTE offers Standard Bank customers a subsidized router and data. Data allowances vary depending on the bank account you hold. Customers can also top up their data with recurring or one-time data plans depending on their needs.
Since its launch in August 2021 until March 2022, Standard bank Mobile has already sold 879 fixed LTE products. Ramsden says that’s only expected to grow as demand for affordable high-speed internet increases in the coming years.
“Standard Bank Mobile offers customers the opportunity to purchase devices at lower cost, access affordable and in some cases even free data – just to bank with us! We hope that by providing a internet access and reliable and affordable devices, we can accelerate the development of a South Africa where everyone has access to the opportunities that the digital world offers”, concludes Ramsden.