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Hippo provides free fibre comparison tool for businesses

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Hippo.co.za CEO Bradley Du Chenne.
Hippo.co.za CEO Bradley Du Chenne.

Comparison site Hippo.co.za has introduced an online service that enables business owners to compare fibre-to-the-business (FTTB) connectivity packages and prices at their location.

The portal is free to use and offers geo-located price comparisons on an array of connectivity types, including fibre, microwave, wireless, satellite and LTE connections.

Using the online portal, business owners can drop a pin on a virtual map and be served instant comparisons for business-connectivity packages, as they would for fibre-to-the-home offerings – a service which has been offered on the Hippo Web site since last year.

The new service offers multiple quotes to compare packages of SA’s major fibre providers, including Vodacom, MWeb, Telkom, Liquid Telecom, Metro Fibre, Link Africa, Bitco and Frogfoot.

“With many businesses trying to stay afloat or just getting on their feet, we want to enable business owners to compare business fibre quotes online,” says Hippo.co.za CEO Bradley Du Chenne.

“A small cost-saving or faster Internet speed to assist with productivity should not be underestimated.”

One of the biggest frustrations, especially for SMEs, is that entrepreneurs don’t know what their business connectivity could and should cost, according to Hippo. In the past, business owners would have to either go directly to the Internet service providers for prices, or work through IT providers.

Over and above the lack of transparency, time was another frustration – the process for getting aggregated quotes on business connectivity would typically take anywhere from three days to two weeks.

“This will be a game-changer for South African businesses,” says Chris Peters, CEO of Fibre Compare, whose platform powers Hippo’s FTTB comparison tool. “Some tech companies have used this process before, but it’s never been made available to the public for free.”

Established in 2007, Hippo helps South African consumers save money by comparing a range of offerings from South African providers across financial products such as car insurance, household insurance, life insurance and medical aid.

Now with over two million active users, the Hippo Web site retrieves real-time quotes from the different providers, using artificial intelligence technologies.

The online-based company says it makes money by charging its partners a fee when a customer chooses to find out more about their products.

Creating the new business-connectivity comparison tool was a complex process, due in part to the many different connectivity types on offer, notes Peters.

“On some maps, the fibre cable doesn’t go past the road, so your business premises might register and not be feasible for FTTB.

“This platform auto-locates where you are, down to within two metres, and tells you much more accurately what real-world options are available to you. All deals are subject to a further feasibility by the service provider, but we have put quite a few measures in place to provide up to 95% accuracy throughout the country.”

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