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August 17th, 2016 by

Telkom announced their data-oriented, FreeMe plans in July 2016 and ever since, local networks have felt the heat as subscribers have looked at moving over to the telco giant.

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Our Thoughts On The Telkom FreeMe Package

We’ve tried out Telkom’s 20GB FreeMe Boost plan and this what we think. We used it for just over 3 weeks (a boost bundle / plan allows you to top up whenever you need to).

Selecting the plan was easy. All that was needed was a prepaid Telkom Mobile SIM card and sufficient airtime to cover the cost of the plan. In the case of the 20GB option, this was R599.

This is a fair amount of money to be forking over for a data plan, which does not come with a smartphone. But the benefits far outweigh the cost.


The 20GB plan gave us:

  • 20480 MB of data (that’s just over 20GB)
  • 500MB FreeMe Social Data (this is used for your WhatsApp, Facebook and other social media apps)
  • 300 minutes to phone any Telkom Mobile or Telkom Landline number in South Africa
  • 1500 minutes to phone any number on any cellphone network in South Africa
  • 100 SMSs

500MB data for social media might seem like a little. But, it’s important to note that this data is used for your social media apps before any data is taken from your bundle.

The minutes included in the plan are not limited to a specific time of day. This means that you can use them any time of day, any day of the week. Without having to worry about whether it’s peak or off-peak time.

The One Downfall

Telkom’s FreeMe offerings are certainly impressive, however they are hindered by just one thing, the network itself.

Telkom Mobile does not operate on the same spectrum as MTN, Vodacom or Cell C. This means that where you might normally get cellphone coverage on those operators, you might not get coverage on Telkom Mobile. This is especially noticeable inside buildings where the signal can be spotty, or even non-existent, at times.

If you can live with this annoyance and have your own smartphone, then Telkom’s FreeMe is a no-brainer in terms of value for money.

FreeMe, unlike offerings from other mobile operators (such as Vodacom’s Plus plans), is available at the same cost. Whether you purchase it as a contract or as a prepaid deal. This means that if you are an existing Telkom Mobile customer, swapping over to the FreeMe plan is easier than falling out of bed in the morning.

To read the original Telkom FreeMe article, click here.


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  • Fred.

    If I go for it, the first question is, will it only work on a smartphone, or will it also work on my laptop? The second question is.. what speed can one expect it to work at? I need at least 4Mbps.

    • Brendon Petersen

      Hi Fred.

      You can put the SIM card in a MiFi (mobile Wi-Fi) device or a smartphone and tether your computer to it, we’ve tried it and it does work.
      With regards to speed, as it’s a mobile data connection it does depend on your area, how close to a cell tower you are and Telkom Mobile’s signal strength in that area. If it’s a 4G / LTE connection and you’re in an area with good coverage, you could get well over 4mbps.

  • Francois P Theron

    If only Telkom can speed up fibre optics for the whole country but whilst old 384K or 512K copper cables land voice and data lines remain in tact, frequent droppings of lines, Telkom will remain behind the rest of the world and even parts of Dark Africa…..

  • Douglas

    Sorry the freeme does not include Facebook. WhatsApp, Viber and BBM.

    • Annemarie Fourie

      Free Me deals include the following – If you use Instant Messaging (IM) apps like WhatsApp, BBM and Viber, those are 100% free to use* – it doesn’t cost you any of your data allowance. And for all of the old school peeps, you get free SMS too. (2GB FUP)

  • Flame

    My company gave me a phone with this package. Its great, except Telkoms network sucks ballz! 2017 and I regulary hit 2Mbps on LTE. Thats kak hey!