Telkom has rolled out its Switch campaign, encouraging DSL customers to migrate to fibre by offering a free month of Internet access and waiving migration fees.
The one-month free subscription, router, and installation is available to Telkom’s DSL and Copper Voice customers that migrate to its fibre-to-the-home services — provided they are in an area covered by Openserve.
Telkom says that making the switch will reduce the risk of cable theft and increase the reliability of its customers’ connections.
The promotion began earlier this month and will run until 10 June.
Telkom has had a somewhat stop-start approach to its ADSL copper switch-off programme, with the company initially announcing its plans to kill its ADSL services in May 2019.
However, the partially state-owned telecoms company continued selling ADSL products — and still does today. This is likely because some areas in South Africa don’t yet have fibre but still have DSL-capable copper lines.
In July 2019, Telkom announced that it had migrated 96% of its prepaid fixed-line customers to wireless services, and that it would shut down its prepaid copper service on 1 August.
Telkom said its strategy was to replace its copper-based products with Smart Voice, LTE, and fibre services.
To recoup some of the costs associated with its copper network, Telkom said that it would pull up its cables and resell them.
However, in 2020, a month into South Africa’s Covid-19 lockdown, Telkom’s wholesale and networks division Openserve launched naked ADSL.
This made DSL much cheaper, as subscribers could buy the broadband service without taking a Telkom phone line.
Telkom then said it would continue to sell its copper-based products in areas where it is economically viable.
The company has now circled back to encouraging customers to migrate off its copper network.
Telkom has seen its fixed-line customer base decline substantially in recent years. The company’s financial results for the year ended March 2020 revealed that its fixed-line business had declined from 2,267,000 in March 2019 to 1,602,000 in March 2020.
Telkom ADSL vs fibre
Telkom offers customers copper-based Internet connectivity through its Unlimited Home Lite DSL products. These packages feature asymmetrical download and upload speeds.
The cheapest service is its Unlimited Home Lite DSL package with 10Mbps download and 1Mbps upload speeds. It is available for R299 for the first six months of a 24-month contract and R329 after that.
Telkom is running a similar promotion on all of its Unlimited Home Lite DSL products, with the 40Mbps package starting at R499 per month and then increasing to R699, and the 20Mbps service increasing from R399 to R599 after the first six months.
In comparison, Telkom’s fibre products offer symmetrical upload and download speeds. Its 25Mbps package goes for R449, and its 50Mbps package goes for R699 per month.
The speeds and pricing of Telkom’s DSL and fibre products are compared below.
|Telkom ADSL vs fibre pricing
|Unlimited Home Lite DSL 10Mbps
|R299 / R329
|Unlimited Home Lite DSL 20Mbps
|R399 / R599
|Unlimited Home Lite DSL 40Mbps
|R499 / R699
|Fibre Home Unlimited 25Mbps
|Fibre Home Unlimited 50Mbps