Is 4Mbps ADSL more expensive than 20Mbps FTTH?

Fibre-to-the-home player Vumatel recently announced the launch of 20Mbps download speed options on its network.

Vumatel said although prices might vary between Internet service providers, a 20Mbps connection on its FTTH network is “quite comparable in cost” to a 4Mbps DSL service.

To test this bold claim, we compared the prices of 20Mbps connections it lists on its website to 4Mbps ADSL and 20Mbps VDSL prices.

Vumatel listed three Internet service providers on its website that offer 20Mbps services on its fibre network: Cool Ideas, Vox Telecom, and Web Africa.

Cool Ideas only has an uncapped account listed, while there are only 20Mbps capped FTTH accounts listed for Vox and Web Africa.

First off we compared 4Mbps and 20Mbps DSL options available from the above ISPs to the uncapped 20Mbps FTTH service from Cool Ideas.

Where an ISP offered a line and account bundle, or lower DSL access prices than Telkom, its price was used in the comparisons.

Uncapped FTTH vs DSL prices
ISP Network Speed Price
Web Africa Telkom ADSL 4Mbps R738
Cool Ideas Vumatel FTTH 20Mbps R799
Vox Telecom Telkom ADSL 4Mbps R847
Vox Telecom Telkom VDSL 20Mbps R1,598
Web Africa Telkom VDSL 20Mbps R1,613

Comparing the capped services was more challenging, due to the number of combinations of line speeds and data caps available.

ISPs on Vumatel fibre offer 100GB and 300GB capped accounts at the 20Mbps speed tier.

The tables below show how these fibre services compare to the prices of 4Mbps and 20Mbps DSL services with similar caps.

Afrihost is included in the comparison to show that cheaper DSL prices compared to those from Vox and Web Africa may be available.

Capped FTTH vs DSL prices
100GB capped 4Mbps ADSL vs 20Mbps FTTH
ISP Network Speed Cap Price
Afrihost Telkom ADSL 4Mbps 100GB R667
Web Africa Telkom ADSL 4Mbps 90GB R738
Web Africa Vumatel FTTH 20Mbps 100GB R769
Web Africa Telkom ADSL 4Mbps 90GB R913
Afrihost Telkom ADSL 4Mbps 200GB R867
Web Africa Vumatel FTTH 20Mbps 250GB R999
Web Africa Telkom ADSL 4Mbps 200GB R1,038
100GB capped 20Mbps VDSL vs 20Mbps FTTH
ISP Network Speed Cap Price
Web Africa Vumatel FTTH 20Mbps 100GB R769
Afrihost Telkom VDSL 20Mbps 100GB R813
Web Africa Vumatel FTTH 20Mbps 250GB R999
Afrihost Telkom VDSL 20Mbps 200GB R1,013
Web Africa Telkom VDSL 20Mbps 200GB R1,213
300GB capped
ISP Network Speed Cap Price
Afrihost Telkom ADSL 4Mbps 300GB R716
Vox Telecom Vumatel FTTH 20Mbps 300GB R799
Afrihost Telkom VDSL 20Mbps 300GB R927
Vox Telecom Telkom ADSL 4Mbps 300GB R1,413
Vox Telecom Telkom VDSL 20Mbps 300GB R1,524
* Web Africa DSL accounts include “midnight data” equal to 4x the anytime data listed.

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Is 4Mbps ADSL more expensive than 20Mbps FTTH?