Neotel recently announced that its fibre to the premise (FTTX) service was already available to Neotel enterprise customers.
The telecoms provider said that it had completed the roll out of its metro access layer (fibre to the kerb) in five key metros enabling businesses to connect to their service in a matter of days.
This seemed like a great value proposition for businesses in the Neotel-covered areas, but some business who have applied for Neotel’s fibre services are less than happy.
According to one large enterprise they have been waiting for months for a quote from Neotel and, despite numerous attempts to get a price on these services, they are still waiting.
Another business said that they had to "fight" to get a quote out of Neotel, and that the result was less than encouraging.
According to this source the cost of a 2Mbps fibre connection – which includes 2Mbps of dedicated Internet bandwidth – would be in excess of R40 000 a month. This, according to the business, is significantly higher than Telkom’s pricing for a similar service.
Neotel explained that when it quotes an enterprise client for a service, the service is specific to their needs. “We engage with the client, understand what their unique requirements are and then tailor-make the solution to meet those requirements,” said Neotel.
“It is therefore very difficult to compare two Neotel quotes or even compare Neotel’s prices to the incumbent, as it is not a set price list that predetermined solutions are bought from.”
Neotel also said that its track record in the enterprise market shows that its clients see the value in their offerings.
When it comes to the case of the high cost of a dedicated 2Mbps fibre connection, Neotel said that they unfortunately did not know exactly what services and solutions were quoted on so could not comment. They did, however, encourage this business contact their Neotel account manager directly to discuss any price concerns they may have.
Neotel has previously indicated that clients can typically expect a 20% to 30% saving when looking at full telecoms solutions from the company.
The company’s consumer services – where the pricing is known up front – are significantly cheaper than competing services when looking at both bandwidth allowances and value-adds.
Pricing for Neotel’s first small business offering – NeoFlex Voice – will only be available after ICASA has approved its rates.
The SME market is an area which is currently targeted by many operators, including Telkom, Vodacom and MTN, and one can expect aggressive pricing from a company looking to increase its market share.