Vumatel races to connect Soweto with prepaid fibre

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Vumatel CEO Dietlof Mare.
Vumatel CEO Dietlof Mare.

Fibre service provider Vumatel has launched its prepaid fibre service – the Vuma Fibre Reach product – in Soweto.

This, as a number of service providers are descending on Soweto to connect SA’s biggest township.

In 2014, Vumatel unsettled the telecoms space when it pioneered fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) in SA, and has since connected thousands of homes across Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban to broadband Internet.

After a lot of research into the community of Soweto, Vumatel says it has worked to secure the necessary approvals from the ward councillors of the City of Johannesburg before beginning the installation of fibre-optic cable infrastructure throughout the area.

It notes fibre packages are available for residents on a prepaid basis from Internet service providers (ISPs), which means residents won’t be tied into a contract, and will have the freedom to buy services for data as and when they choose.

These fibre services offered by the ISPs will give every home in the Vuma Fibre network 20/10Mbps uncapped Internet connection; free in-home fibre installation and a WiFi-enabled device; 24/7 availability and support; and no long contracts, it adds.

The Vuma Reach fibre package is currently offered through two ISPs – Webafrica and Supersonic – and is priced at R399 per month.

The company says fibre is faster and more affordable than any other type of Internet connection, which means users won’t have to wait a whole day for a movie or series to download.

In fact, it notes, downloading a 5Gb movie takes just a few minutes, sometimes even less.

“Fibre is revolutionising the way South Africans do things. As the country is transitioning from ADSL to fibre Internet, people are experiencing abundant Internet access with unlimited connectivity in the comfort of their homes,” says Vuma CEO Dietlof Mare.

“Fibre is faster and more reliable than other Internet services – it enables seamless Internet connectivity that changes the way people connect with each other and to the world.”

Vumatel’s move comes as a number of telcos are coming to Soweto with their connectivity solutions.

Earlier this month, Telkom announced it is aggressively pushing its long-term evolution offerings in the township.

On the fibre front, in May last year, Telkom went live with its fibre connectivity at Orlando West High School, in Soweto, giving learners Internet access. This move, said the JSE-listed group, is in line with plans to bridge the digital divide in township communities.

In July, Frogfoot Networks, a licensed open access fibre network provider, said it will connect homes in Soweto’s Protea Glen suburb to FTTH. This was to be done in a phased approach.

Frogfoot said up to 20 000 homes and businesses in that area stood to benefit as a result of its fibre infrastructure roll-out.

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