UPDATE: Afrihost has said that it has decided to delay the launch of Afrihost Plus to get more feedback from clients, and depending on client feedback may not launch the product any time soon, or even at all.
“I am sending an email to our clients later asking them whether we should in fact launch Plus+ or not and will act based on the results of this,” Afrihost CEO Gian Visser said.
Visser also said that although the current incarnation of Afrihost Plus includes a 30-day trial period, and while there is a strong chance they will launch the product that way (if it launches), there is still a chance that they may not offer a trial at launch.
Should the launch go ahead, it is also possible that the price may change, said Visser.
Original article (was: Afrihost Plus price, details: how it works)
Afrihost announced recently that it intends to launch a bolt-on service called Afrihost Plus before the end of today (Thursday, 20 November 2014), which will offer subscribers a number of benefits for a flat monthly fee.
After conducting a survey which asked customers how much they would be willing to pay for a service like Afrihost Plus, the Internet service provider has set the launch price at R99 per month.
Among the benefits offered by Afrihost Plus are a full subscription to the Simfy Africa music streaming service, 500MB mobile data, soft-capping on capped DSL, and double the Turbocharge minutes on uncapped DSL accounts.
More controversially, the add-on service will also give subscribers permanent access to two features that have been long-standing promotions on Afrihost services: Double Data, and 2-for–1 Top-ups.
To answer questions about how the service would work, Afrihost granted us early access to Afrihost Plus, allowing us to go through the sign-up process and use the new Client Zone menus.
Subscribers will be able to sign up for a free 30 day trial of Afrihost Plus to check it out themselves. To give an an idea of what to expect from the trial sign-up, we documented our experience (clicking on images will open larger versions).
Once you’ve clicked the link to sign up for Afrihost Plus and logged in (or logged in and clicked the link to sign up), you are presented with a wizard-like form.
The first choice you are asked to make is to select which of your accounts to apply the various Afrihost Plus benefits to.
In other words, the benefits do not apply to all the DSL or mobile data accounts registered under your master profile. A benefit may only be applied to one DSL or mobile data service at a time.
This can be changed in the Client Zone user portal at a later stage, but keep in mind that any benefit alterations will only take effect on the first day of the following month.
500MB mobile data
Next, you will be asked to select how you would like to receive the 500MB mobile data included with Afrihost Plus.
You can choose to link it to an existing Afrihost Mobile data product, an existing MTN contract SIM, or order a new SIM card from Afrihost to which the benefit will be linked.
Should you choose to take out a new SIM, you will be given the option to buy a 3G modem or router with it.
If you choose to link the benefit to an existing MTN contract SIM instead, you will be asked to enter the number of the SIM in question.
Afrihost warns that it could take up to 72 hours to provision the SIM to use its access point name.
Free trial and payment
From there, the Afrihost Plus sign-up form requested payment details. Usually you will be billed immediately upon sign-up, but trial users will only be charged once their 30 days of free membership to Afrihost Plus is over.
You will be able to have multiple Afrihost Plus bolt-ons active on your profile, so subscribers with many active DSL or mobile data services can get the benefits for all their accounts should they want to.
However, only the first activation of Afrihost Plus per profile will have a free trial period.
Client Zone and Simfy Africa
Once you’ve signed up for Afrihost Plus it will be possible to activate your Simfy Africa music streaming benefits from within the Client Zone portal.
If you already have a Simfy Africa account, you can link your Afrihost Plus benefit to it if you wish, or create a new account.
Client Zone also provides information on when you signed up for Afrihost Plus and Simfy Africa, and lets you know the status of your membership (such as when your trial expires).
Afrihost Plus features
While some Afrihost Plus benefits were explained in detail above, others were only mentioned briefly. The full list of the service’s features at launch can be summarised as follows:
- Simfy Africa music streaming: full access to stream on desktop or mobile, which usually costs R60 per month (R49 if you’re an MTN customer).
- Free 500MB mobile data.
- Double data all the time: continue receiving double data on Afrihost mobile or DSL packages, even after the promotion ends on 31 December 2014.
- Permanent 2-for–1 topups: Usually a promotion which Afrihost said runs a few days a month, Plus subscribers will always have access to 2-for–1 data top-ups.
- Soft-capping on capped DSL: When your data cap runs out, your connection is instead throttled to 128 kilobits per second.
- Double turbo charges: Turbocharge lets uncapped DSL users avoid all shaping for a 60 minute session. Uncapped subscribers usually get 5 free Turbocharge sessions (300 minutes) per month, with the option to top up for a fee. Afrihost Plus subscribers get double the Turbocharge minutes every month.