South Africa round-up: MWEB FTTH pricing announced; AlwaysOn reduces Wi-Fi subscription tariff; Afrihost fixes ADSL issues

28 Nov 2014

South African internet service provider (ISP) MWEB has revealed its fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) pricing for the Johannesburg suburb of Parkhurst, with subscriptions starting at ZAR399 (USD36.19) per month for an uncapped 4Mbps service, BusinessTech reports. MWEB’s introductory packages, with access speeds ranging between 4Mbps and 1Gbps, are currently available on a trial basis to test usage needs, but will be offered via capped options from January 2015; a 4Mbps connection with 50GB of data will cost ZAR319, while a premium 1Gbps plan (with data allowance of 500GB) will be priced at ZAR2,099. TeleGeography notes that MWEB’s services are offered over Vumatel’s open-access FTTH infrastructure, which was lit on 28 October 2014. Since then the number of connected homes in Parkhurst grew to 240, and a further 250 homes will be able to use the service by 5 December. Residents in the upscale neighbourhood could sign up to FTTH services via several operators, including Vox Telecom, Web Africa, Cybersmart, Cool Ideas, and SmartVillage.

Meanwhile, Internet Solutions-owned Wi-Fi hotspot provider AlwaysOn has cut its broadband access tariff to ZAR29 (USD2.63) per month for 10GB of data, according to My Broadband. Under the deal, which ends on 31 January 2015, potential subscribers signing up for the plan will get the preferential tariff for twelve months. The data allowance can be split evenly, with 5GB used in South Africa, and the remaining 5GB accessed via one of AlwaysOn’s roaming partners in 110 countries. The Wi-Fi provider has 1,500 hotspots in South Africa. ISP Internet Solutions acquired a 51% stake in AlwaysOn in 2009, and in June 2014 it increased its ownership to 100% for an undisclosed sum.

Finally, South African ISP Afrihost has announced that its technical team has isolated the cause of the poor recent ADSL network performance and have implemented a solution which ‘will greatly improve the client’s DSL experience’. Last week the operator experienced some major issues with its ADSL traffic management devices, which resulted in congestion and a slowdown of the network at times. Further, Afrihost CEO Gian Visser disclosed to MyBroadband that the operator is in the process of increasing the capacity of its South and East Internet Protocol Connect (IPC) platforms: ‘These IPC capacity upgrades will lead to even better performance for our ADSL clients’. TeleGeography notes that the IPC capacity of Afrihost’s ADSL network stood at 13Gbps at January 2014.