Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs) are starting to make inroads into the broadband market with an estimated 40 000 subscribers country wide.
Many WISPs operate in regions where users can not get ADSL, but some WISPs are starting to tackle Telkom head on by providing offerings that rival the monopoly’s ADSL service.
We take a look at some of the most prominent WISP offerings and compare them to Telkom’s ADSL services.
Installation Time & Support
Two of the most notable problems associated with Telkom’s ADSL service are the lengthy waiting times for an installation and poor support. These are two of the major reasons why many consumers opt for a WISP rather than Telkom.
WISPs definitely have the edge in this department, especially if consumers do their homework before subscribing and select a well known and respected provider.
The average throughput versus advertised broadband speed remains one of the biggest problems facing consumers in the local Internet market. Many providers, including Telkom with their ADSL service, advertise speeds which are highly unlikely to be experienced in reality.
Without in-depth research it is impossible to accurately compare advertised speeds with actual performance, but from the recent broadband survey it emerged that wireless providers are basically on par with Telkom’s ADSL service when it comes to this particular parameter.
Consumers will however again have to get feedback from actual users before selecting a WISP as there are unscrupulous operators who try to maximize profits by not providing adequate or reliable backhaul bandwidth.
One of the most important aspects of any broadband service in South Africa is pricing. In South Africa pricing should generally be seen as a product of two main factors, namely speed and monthly usage allowances.
The following table gives a basic pricing comparison between Telkom and a few prominent WISPs:
Broadband Pricing Comparison
|Service||Speed (in Kbps)||Usage Allowance||All inclusive Price|
|Neology MetroFi||128||1 GB||180|
|Amobia WiFi||1024||1 GB||199|
|Snowball Wireless||512||1 GB||200|
|Telkom ADSL||384||1 GB||311|
|Amobia WiFi||2048||2 GB||299|
|Telkom ADSL||384||2 GB||370|
|24-7 Wireless||2048||2 GB||449|
3 GB +
|Snowball Wireless||512||4 GB||400|
|Amobia WiFi||3072||3 GB||499|
|Snowball Wireless||2048||3 GB||650|
|Telkom ADSL||4096||3 GB||666|