Telkom mobile, one of the new kids on the block, has taken South African consumers by storm and has continued to offer reliable service at affordable rates. The latest offering from this newbie is the Sim-Sonke pre-paid tariff plan that offers pre-paid billing, which ensures lower charges than contracts which charge per minute.
On the Sim-Sonke package, you pay 29c per minute for calls to any Telkom Mobile number (per second billing), and you pay 75c per minute to any SA and national landline numbers (Telkom and Neotel) billed per second.
For just 99c, you can get a Sim-Sonke starter pack, which contains two SIM cards that you will need to RICA. In order to RICA your SIM cards, you need your ID and proof of residence, you can usually RICA in the store where you buy the starter pack. You can purchase a starter pack at Telkom Mobile stores, 8ta stores, Shoprite and Checkers stores.
For airtime, you can visit Telkom and 8th stores, participating dealers, participating banks (FNB, Nedbank, ABSA and Standard Bank) and online. Recharging comes with the following benefits: between R5-19, you get 5 free sms’s; R20 or more gets you 20 free sms’s valid for 7 days. In addition you qualify for free night calls from your Telkom mobile Sim-Sonke number. These free calls are valid for 7 days. The free evening calls promotion works in the following ways; if you recharge before 9pm, the benefit starts the same day at 9pm, if you recharge after 9pm and before midnight, you get the benefit immediately, if you recharge after midnight, you get the benefit from 9pm that evening. To check your airtime balance, dial *188#.

Prior to signing up with any network, you should check the coverage to see if they offer good service in your area. To check the Telkom Mobile coverage, you can visit You can also send your street address and suburb or GPS coordinates to 43482 and they will reply with an sms confirming the coverage in that area.
To purchase internet bundles on Sim-Sonke, you can choose from any one of the following bundles:
250MB at R30; 500MB at R69; 1GB at R119; 5GB at R349; 10GB at R999; 60GB + 60GB at R1800; or 2GB + 1GB at R149.
To purchase sms’s/mms’s on Sim-Sonke, you can choose from any one of the following bundles:
50 sms’s at R22.50; 100 sms’s at R35; 200 sms’s at R50; 500 sms’s at R112; 1000 sms’s at R210; 1500 sms’s at R315; or 2000 sms’s at R420.
To purchase wi-fi bundles on Sim-Sonke, you can choose from either of the bundles below:
30 minutes for R25 or 60 minutes for R40.

You can also purchase the BlackBerry internet services (BIS), BlackBerry Social and Email Plan on Sim-Sonke.
International calls are available (without activating the roaming), but be careful! The charges for international calls on any package are hefty and easily max out your cell phone budget!
As I’m sure you can see, the deal includes very reasonable prices and can really save you quite a lot when it all adds up. If you are in an area that gets good coverage, it’s well worth switching over. However, this is imperative, so if you don’t get great coverage, don’t put yourself in that position!
Give Telkom Mobile a call to talk through any queries you may have regarding Sim-Sonke and their helpful staff are sure to be more than happy to supply you with the relevant information to answer your questions. You can also visit them in store and speak to one of their representatives who is sure to be more than helpful! Consider carefully whether the deal suits your requirements and if it caters to your needs. You don’t want to be stuck with a SIM-card that you don’t use.
On the other hand, the great thing about pre-paid packages is that there is no long term commitment, so if you’re just visiting the country or aren’t sure about which package you want, it’s a great alternative!