Vumatel comes under fire for high fibre prices

KleinBoontjie

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Currently using Homeconnect on Vumatel at 20/20 for R888. A Openserve equivalent is 25/25 for R 588. :mad::oops:...
Now I don't feel so bad about my 20/20 for R499 (Actually 10/10, but they give me double, because their pole is in my back yard.)
 

dstvnothingon

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My questions is whether Vumatel's decision to use Active Ethernet instead of GPON like other providers are costing them?
It's definitely more expensive in terms of infrastructure deployment, but not sure how equipment costs compare.
having been on both times of infrastructure, I can say the AE is a much more stable than Gpon.
with a far superior product result in terms in of stability
 

deweyzeph

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What everyone seems to be forgetting is that you can't compare Openserve to Vumatel. Vumatel had to build their entire network from scratch. Openserve has decades of Telkom infrastructure investment behind them and a network of thousands of POTS exchanges all over the country. Openserve has economies of scale that they can leverage. I don't know the figures, but I would guess that for Openserve to deploy a fibre network in any given area costs a fraction of what it would cost companies like Vumatel. It's like comparing the prices you would pay for things at a corner shop superette with what you would pay at a massive Checkers hyper store.
 

recre8

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having been on both times of infrastructure, I can say the AE is a much more stable than Gpon.
with a far superior product result in terms in of stability
Interesting. But when you say "stability", do you mean the last-mile fibre from the node to your house, or just in general when it comes to the provider? I'm on frogfoot, and there has been some downtime here and there, but never between the node and my house, it always been maintenance related miles from me with stuff like backhaul upgrades etc.
 

ronald911

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My questions is whether Vumatel's decision to use Active Ethernet instead of GPON like other providers are costing them?
It's definitely more expensive in terms of infrastructure deployment, but not sure how equipment costs compare.

As far as I know it's only like the original trenched Vumatel infrastructure that uses AE.. Most of their newer trenched and aerial infrastructure is GPON now days.
 

Bobbin

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Where I'm moving to next month seems to have both Openserve and Vumatel available via Afrihost. I noticed this price difference when checking a week or two ago. Obviously I am going to choose Openserve but I was a bit concerned that there might be a quality difference or something I'm missing. The timing of this article is spot on for me. Thanks!
 

deweyzeph

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And yet in my area I can choose Vumatel and Openserve, but there is only one cable in the ground. Openserve uses Vumatel infrastructure ....

Openserve doesn't trench their fibre to homes, they generally run it on their existing poles carrying their old copper lines.
 

friedpiggy

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And here's me paying R499 for a weird 15mb line. Actually 3x 15mb lines. One for local (you to isp who hosts a pretty large file server for things like ms updates etc.) one for national (Netflix etc.) and one for international.

Flipping nice system actually. My wife can watch Netflix while I am gaming and her activity doesn't affect me and vice versa. I can be downloading a Linux distro at full speed from a local peer while still doing something on international. I could get the same effect by upgrading the line speed to like a 50mb line I suppose, but this works well for me.
 

ronald911

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Openserve doesn't trench their fibre to homes, they generally run it on their existing poles carrying their old copper lines.
They actually do trench in some areas, especially if they never had a presence before (eg newly developed Estates).

In many areas Openserve (ex Telkom) already have underground copper infrastructure, that's been there for decades.... Instead of retrenching, they just use the existing underground network and pull the fibre through there. Much easier.

But yes, most of the time Openserve is on poles.
 
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ronald911

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And here's me paying R499 for a weird 15mb line. Actually 3x 15mb lines. One for local (you to isp who hosts a pretty large file server for things like ms updates etc.) one for national (Netflix etc.) and one for international.

Flipping nice system actually. My wife can watch Netflix while I am gaming and her activity doesn't affect me and vice versa. I can be downloading a Linux distro at full speed from a local peer while still doing something on international. I could get the same effect by upgrading the line speed to like a 50mb line I suppose, but this works well for me.
123 Net?
 

Asgard85

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What everyone seems to be forgetting is that you can't compare Openserve to Vumatel. Vumatel had to build their entire network from scratch. Openserve has decades of Telkom infrastructure investment behind them and a network of thousands of POTS exchanges all over the country. Openserve has economies of scale that they can leverage. I don't know the figures, but I would guess that for Openserve to deploy a fibre network in any given area costs a fraction of what it would cost companies like Vumatel. It's like comparing the prices you would pay for things at a corner shop superette with what you would pay at a massive Checkers hyper store.
Paying customers will compare them though, and on one primary criterion. To the man on the street price is king, particularly in 2021 when times are tough for so many. Those with the option of switching to Openserve may exercise that option - those of us stuck with Vumatel may accept the higher package and associated charges and the value chain may increase their average spend per customer. Alternatively, many may choose to downgrade and stay there, in which case their average spend per customer may decrease. Certainly I was a happy customer who had no interest in seeking out any alternatives and have largely ignored the market offerings in terms of data for the last few years. At the very least this has prompted me to look at alternatives, even beyond fibre.
Vumatel have made their decision and only time will tell if it was the right one for them.
 

Polymathic

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This sort of raises an interesting question actually.

Yes, Vumatel are coming under fire for being more expensive than Openserve now, and rightfully so. Question in my head though, Is Openserve maybe not playing the standard Telkom monopoly type of game and undercutting their own cost base in a price war type of scenario to muscle out other players in areas where their is shared infrastructure?
Yup that's exactly what they are doing.
 

ronald911

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Paying customers will compare them though, and on one primary criterion. To the man on the street price is king, particularly in 2021 when times are tough for so many. Those with the option of switching to Openserve may exercise that option - those of us stuck with Vumatel may accept the higher package and associated charges and the value chain may increase their average spend per customer. Alternatively, many may choose to downgrade and stay there, in which case their average spend per customer may decrease. Certainly I was a happy customer who had no interest in seeking out any alternatives and have largely ignored the market offerings in terms of data for the last few years. At the very least this has prompted me to look at alternatives, even beyond fibre.
Vumatel have made their decision and only time will tell if it was the right one for them.

Agree..

Another thing, most MyBB forum (or Techies) users kinda understand the business models and stuff around providers and can perhaps comprehend why FNO x could be more expensive against FNO y in order to turn a profit.
However, MyBB users probably make up a very small percentage of their actual client base..

Most of their customers are just normies who want the fastest internet at the lowest price with little regards to anything else. That's something Vumatel will most certainly have to figure out.

A few months ago a company called Linteg started tenching in our neighbourhood on the KZN South Coast (which is basically an old age home) and when they released pricing, the Whatsapp groups went absolutely mad, people comparing pricing to Octotel, Mitsol, etc etc and yes we had FNO staff in that group, but they were totally silent.
 

Asgard85

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Agree..

Another thing, most MyBB forum (or Techies) users kinda understand the business models and stuff around providers and can perhaps comprehend why FNO x could be more expensive against FNO y in order to turn a profit.
However, MyBB users probably make up a very small percentage of their actual client base..

Most of their customers are just normies who want the fastest internet at the lowest price with little regards to anything else. That's something Vumatel will most certainly have to figure out.

A few months ago a company called Linteg started tenching in our neighbourhood on the KZN South Coast (which is basically an old age home) and when they released pricing, the Whatsapp groups went absolutely mad, people comparing pricing to Octotel, Mitsol, etc etc and yes we had FNO staff in that group, but they were totally silent.
Absolutely, "normies" will likely be the bulk of their customers. Vuma clearly has some constraints they are contending with, but the fact remains that if a company cannot bring their product to market at a cost which makes sense within that market then difficulties will ensue. I don't give a damn why the Vuma business cannot deliver their product at the same price level as their competitors.

Of course as long as they are the only option we have few choices: forego their service, select a different technology or make a decision based on the now more limited options they make available to us.

Sucks for Vuma customers.
 
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