3 December 2021.


Fascinating findings have emerged from BMIT’s latest Digital Lifestyle Study. The survey, conducted online in partnership with myBroadband and BusinessTech, was well supported, with a total of 1 314 participants. The major topics covered in the report include home internet, digital media and mobile usage.  

The study revealed a substantial increase in the usage of FTTH and 3G/LTE wireless routers over the past 12 months, likely due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the need for reliable broadband for work-from-home purposes. Despite this uptake, nearly half of South Africans still primarily access the internet through their phones (44%). 

Price remains a hurdle for many South Africans when it comes to internet access, especially for those who reported being in the lowest household income bracket with a combined household income under R6 000. Most respondents (70%) in this household income bracket reported spending under R300 per month and say they are only connecting through their phones (58%). As a result they are less likely to have uncapped internet; only 14% of respondents in the lowest household income bracket reported having uncapped internet, compared to 80% of participants in the highest household income bracket.

Our survey found that three-quarters of South Africans with internet connections spend less than R500 per month on their primary home connection and we have recently observed some operators cutting prices below R500 to meet this price point. For example, Openserve offers 25mbps uncapped fibre at R399 and now offers prepaid fibre starting at R99. Vuma Reach (which is suburb specific) also starts at R399, whilst rain offers uncapped LTE at R499. Despite these price cuts, half of our survey participants reported currently spending less than R300 per month, as is evident in the chart below:

When it comes to monthly mobile spend, a quarter of digital consumers reported that they spend less than R100 every month on their mobile service, and a third said they spend between R100 and R200 each month.  When respondents were asked to rate their mobile service provider’s data prices, half of all respondents rated data prices as being either very expensive or expensive and nearly a third rated data prices as average. When segmenting ratings of their primary mobile service provider by the provider, we see that Vodacom’s customers are most likely to rate the prices as expensive or very expensive. MTN is the 2nd most negatively rated.  This year, Cell C’s customers are the most likely to rate data prices as being cheap or very cheap, followed closely by Telkom Mobile.

Download Free DLM Presentation:

Fill in the form below  to get access to the free presentation. You will find the following questions in the presentation, segmented by DLM:

  • Primary Home Internet Access
  • Monthly Internet Spend
  • Home Internet Cap
  • Home Internet Speed
  • Reason for wanting to upgrade to fibre
  • Reason for not planning to upgrade to fibre
  • Online Shopping
  • DStv Package
  • Daily Time Spent Streaming Video Services
  • Daily Time Spent Streaming Video Services
  • Digital Technology Products in the Home
  • Monthly Mobile Service Spend
  • Monthly Mobile Data
  • Social / Instant Messaging Mobile Applications

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Click here to read more about the Digital Lifestyle Report: SA Digital Lifestyle Study 2021

To purchase the full report (all questions, segmented by age, household income and Digital Lifestyle Measure, as well as data cuts available on request) please contact Anita Matthews at anita@bmit.africa/082 466 2317.  

See BMIT’s full range of reports:  BMIT Publications