COVID-19, Pricing Regulation and Big Player Profitability

South African Mobile Network Operator's (MNO) performance has remained resilient despite the recommendations from the Competition Commission (Commission) to review data pricing within the country. While the Commission's recommendations are meant to facilitate greater access and affordability, the reality is that South Africa's data pricing remains prohibitively high compared to other African countries. Furthermore, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has driven demand for data services as goods and services shifted to digital channels, workplaces implement working from home policies, and the public sector has had to accelerate the e-government and digitisation initiatives. Besides these challenging and uncertain business environments, the COVID-19 pandemic has catalysed demand for data services. This policy brief aims to analyse the impact of Covid-19 and changes in data pricing on operators' performance.