MTN fixed-LTE crushes Telkom

Supersonic recently launched its new fixed-LTE products in South Africa, which are available on a month-to-month basis or on a 24-month contract.

The MTN-owned ISP aims to compete with Telkom by offering consumers month-to-month fixed-LTE products at competitive prices, and has stated that it expects rapid adoption of its new products, especially by customers without fibre coverage.

Supersonic’s fixed-LTE offering currently comprises three fixed-LTE packages, each of which includes Anytime and Night Owl data.

They are available as SIM-only offerings or with a compatible router which is priced at a flat rate of R1,699, or R69 per month over 24 months.

It is important to note that MTN has effectively launched a wholesale fixed-LTE product, with Supersonic as its first client.

This means that South Africans could expect additional MTN-based fixed-LTE products being offered through more ISPs in future.

Fixed-LTE shake-up

The launch of these offerings comes at a tumultuous time in the consumer fixed-LTE market.

Over the past year, both Rain and Cell C discontinued their fixed-LTE products, leaving Telkom as the only major fixed-LTE provider offering products to consumers through third-party ISPs.

Rain opted to discontinue its fixed-LTE offering from November 2018 due to capacity network constraints, although it still offered services to existing customers.

More recently, Cell C announced that it was terminating its fixed-LTE services through Internet Solutions, shutting down the product’s availability to other ISPs.

Cell C is in a tough financial position, and it said it chose to discontinue its fixed-LTE offering as it was no longer profitable.

Three weeks after Cell C shut down its fixed-LTE offering, MTN entered the market with its fixed-LTE offering through Supersonic.

This means that users who want to buy a fixed-LTE package must choose between MTN and Telkom products, taking into account the packages and pricing from each operator.

MTN vs Telkom

We compared the pricing for the available fixed-LTE packages available from Telkom and MTN through ISPs.

Only month-to-month, SIM-only packages were included in this comparison. We used pricing from Supersonic and Webafrica for MTN and Telkom fixed-LTE respectively.

The table below shows that while Telkom’s smaller fixed-LTE packages compete with MTN’s 120GB product, MTN fixed-LTE through Supersonic is notably cheaper than Telkom fixed-LTE for larger data amounts.

It is also important to consider MTN’s network quality, which is significantly better than Telkom’s, according to the Q2 2019 Mobile Network Quality Report released by MyBroadband Insights.

Across the country, MTN has an average download speed of 35.90Mbps compared to Telkom’s 23.07Mbps. This means that on the whole, the fixed-LTE customer experience should be better on MTN’s network.

The fixed-LTE pricing for both networks is detailed below.

Month-to-month Fixed-LTE
Package Anytime Data Night Data Price pm
Telkom 20GB 20GB 10GB R249
Telkom 40GB 40GB 20GB R359
MTN 120GB 60GB 60GB R399
Telkom 70GB 70GB 50GB R459
MTN 200GB 100GB 100GB R599
Telkom 100GB 100GB 100GB R759
MTN 300GB 150GB 150GB R799
Telkom 200GB 200GB 200GB R1,059

Now read: MTN launches new “sharing” packages for South African businesses

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MTN fixed-LTE crushes Telkom