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Openserve joins Vumatel, Frogfoot in data speed upgrades

Admire Moyo
By Admire Moyo, ITWeb's news editor.
Johannesburg, 24 Apr 2020

Responding to market changes as a result of COVID-19, Openserve says fibre and DSL customers will get upgraded data speeds for a three-month period, effective 1 May.

The Telkom wholesale subsidiary says COVID-19 has forced communities, businesses and governments to embrace the centrality of technological advancements to connect, communicate and conduct business remotely.

Openserve’s announcement follows similar moves from competitors such as Vumatel, Link Africa and Frogfoot, among others.

Link Africa said it’s working with ISP partners to double bandwidth to existing and new customers on their networks at no additional cost.

Last month, Vumatel announced it would upgrade the line speeds of existing users on its fibre network at no additional cost from 1 April until 31 May.

During the same month, Frogfoot said it will offer its existing fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) customers a free upgrade to a higher speed package, between 1 April and 30 June.

It pointed out the line speeds of current customers will automatically be increased from 1 April, while new customers can still order their preferred package, and will benefit from this speed upgrade from when their service goes live until the end of the promotion.

Openserve, SA’s largest open-access infrastructure provider, believes high-speed Internet connectivity is even more relevant now than ever before for work, home and educational needs.

With social distancing and self-isolation practices now being the norm, the company says high-speed broadband connectivity will enable South Africans to better cope with everyday activities during this period, it adds.

“In light of the extraordinary circumstances the nation is currently facing, Openserve is taking extreme measures to not only protect the safety of our staff and clients but to ensure we do everything in our power to keep the nation connected during the national lockdown period and beyond. Virtual connections have never been more important,” says Althon Beukes, Openserve CEO.

To this end, says the company, Openserve recently introduced solutions and product incentives to the market that would enable reduced data pricing and improved access, allowing clients to simplify their data product offerings to the end-customer.

“In addition to these earlier contributions, we are pleased to announce an increase in speed on our Openserve Fibre Connect and Openserve Copper Connect products, for a period of three months, from May to July,” adds Beukes.

Openserve’s speed upgrades will include:

Openserve Fibre Connect Speed Upgrades

• 10Mbps, 20Mbps and 40Mbps speeds will be upgraded to 20Mbps, 40Mbps and 100Mbps respectively.

• Existing 100Mbps and 200Mbps will remain unchanged.

Openserve Copper Connect Speed Upgrades

• Qualifying 1Mbps, 2Mbps, 4Mbps and 8Mbps will be upgraded to 10Mbps subject to network and distance limitations.

• Services unable to achieve 10Mbps will be excluded from the upgrade.

• Existing 10Mbps, 20Mbps and 40Mbps will remain unchanged.

According to Openserve, since the outbreak, many network providers and ISPs have started to offer upgraded data speeds.

In response to these market changes, Openserve has taken the necessary steps to ensure ISPs are not negatively impacted, offering double the speeds to qualifying fibre-to-the-home and DSL customers from May until July.

“Our ambition is to empower all South Africans to cope with day-to-day activities of working from home and home schooling. We want to deploy a solution that will help bridge the digital divide and benefit the users who need higher speeds the most,” Beukes says.

“With this new proposition, our lower speed fibre customers will have their speeds doubled at the very least, ensuring they have enough additional bandwidth to adapt to their demands. We have also concentrated our efforts on increasing the speeds of our lower speed DSL customers. Our lowest speed DSL customers will be afforded an upgrade of up to 10x the existing speed, where network constraints allow.

“Speed is critical in the fast-paced ever-evolving business landscape we find ourselves in today. It’s important to keep up as we learn to adapt,” concludes Beukes.