The best options for South Africans without fibre

Fibre is often the best choice for South Africans when it comes to home broadband, but it is not available everywhere.

Areas without fibre coverage have to settle for less reliable and relatively expensive connectivity options such as ADSL or fixed-LTE.

Recent developments have led to these alternatives becoming significantly more attractive, however, with the launch of “naked ADSL” and fixed-5G products offering great value.

After Openserve’s launch of Pure Connect, a wholesale DSL product which excludes the cost of a copper line from Telkom Retail, many ISPs were able to offer uncapped DSL products that were significantly cheaper.

Vodacom and Rain now also offer fixed-5G products with high download speeds and an expanding coverage area.

Fixed-LTE is also becoming less expensive over time, and the coverage of fixed-LTE networks is far greater than that of 5G.

Another option for users without fibre is to sign up for a Wireless Internet service provider (WISP), which offer their own wireless connectivity solutions in specific areas.

Users can find a WISP with coverage in their area via a sign-up page on the Wireless Access Providers’ Association (WAPA) website.

We have detailed the major available broadband alternatives to fibre in South Africa, comparing the prices and capabilities of DSL, fixed-LTE, and 5G solutions.

Fixed-LTE, 5G, and DSL

5G, fixed-LTE, and DSL each have their own strengths and weaknesses, and the best option for you will depend on how you use your connection.

If you are lucky enough to be within a 5G coverage area, you will be able to sign up for a high-speed wireless broadband solution, although your data usage may be capped depending on your provider.

Rain offers uncapped data on both its Unlimited Home 5G Standard and Premium products. The Standard product is limited to 30Mbps and high-definition (720p) video streaming, while the Premium product offers up to 200Mbps and unlimited streaming resolution.

Vodacom’s 5G products are all capped and are only available on 24- or 36-month contracts.

DSL coverage is widespread in South Africa, but buyers should note that if they are in an area covered by Openserve fibre they will need to sign up for fibre instead, as DSL in these areas is being discontinued.

Copper infrastructure is also prone to theft and outages, which means you may see more service interruptions depending on the state of the infrastructure in your area.

Fixed-LTE is available in many areas across South Africa and is offered through a number ISPs by MTN and Telkom.

Rain offers its own uncapped 4G product, as well as pay-as-you-use services which are priced at R50 per GB.

Product comparison

We compared the price, data allocations, and connection speeds of the major fibre alternatives in South Africa below.

ADSL / VDSL
ISP Network Data Download Speed Upload Speed Price per month
Telkom Openserve Uncapped 4Mbps 512Kbps R329
Vox Openserve Uncapped 4Mbps 512Kbps R375
Axxess Openserve Uncapped 4Mbps 512Kbps R395
Afrihost Openserve Uncapped 4Mbps 512Kbps R447
RSAWEB Openserve Uncapped 4Mbps 512Kbps R494
Vox Openserve Uncapped 10Mbps 1Mbps R575
Axxess Openserve Uncapped 10Mbps 1Mbps R595
Telkom Openserve Uncapped 10Mbps 1Mbps R599
Afrihost Openserve Uncapped 10Mbps 1Mbps R697
RSAWEB Openserve Uncapped 10Mbps 1Mbps R724
Vox Openserve Uncapped 20Mbps 1.5Mbps R675
Telkom Openserve Uncapped 20Mbps 1.5Mbps R699
Axxess Openserve Uncapped 20Mbps 1.5Mbps R745
Afrihost Openserve Uncapped 20Mbps 1.5Mbps R797
RSAWEB Openserve Uncapped 20Mbps 1.5Mbps R1,054
Vox Openserve Uncapped 40Mbps 10Mbps R875
Telkom Openserve Uncapped 40Mbps 10Mbps R899
Axxess Openserve Uncapped 40Mbps 10Mbps R945
Afrihost Openserve Uncapped 40Mbps 10Mbps R997
RSAWEB Openserve Uncapped 40Mbps 10Mbps R1,534
Fixed-LTE / Home 4G (SIM-Only)
ISP Network Data Download Speed Upload Speed Price per month
Afrihost MTN 30GB + 30GB 10-150Mbps 10-150Mbps R199
Telkom Telkom 20GB + 20GB 10-150Mbps 10-150Mbps R199
Axxess Telkom 30GB + 30GB 10-150Mbps 10-150Mbps R199
RSAWEB MTN 25GB + 25GB 10-150Mbps 10-150Mbps R195
Supersonic MTN 30GB + 30GB 10-150Mbps 10-150Mbps R249
Vox Telkom 20GB + 20GB 10-150Mbps 10-150Mbps R199
Afrihost MTN 60GB + 60GB 10-150Mbps 10-150Mbps R349
Telkom Telkom 60GB + 60GB 10-150Mbps 10-150Mbps R399
Axxess Telkom 70GB + 70GB 10-150Mbps 10-150Mbps R399
RSAWEB MTN 50GB + 50GB 10-150Mbps 10-150Mbps R345
Supersonic MTN 60GB + 60GB 10-150Mbps 10-150Mbps R399
Vox Telkom 40GB + 40GB 10-150Mbps 10-150Mbps R299
Afrihost MTN 150GB + 150GB 10-150Mbps 10-150Mbps R749
Telkom Telkom 120GB + 120GB 10-150Mbps 10-150Mbps R699
Axxess Telkom 120GB + 120GB 10-150Mbps 10-150Mbps R699
RSAWEB MTN 100GB + 100GB 10-150Mbps 10-150Mbps R545
Supersonic MTN 150GB + 150GB 10-150Mbps 10-150Mbps R799
Vox Telkom 120GB + 120GB 10-150Mbps 10-150Mbps R699
Afrihost MTN 200GB + 200GB 10-150Mbps 10-150Mbps R949
Telkom Telkom 220GB + 220GB 10-150Mbps 10-150Mbps R999
Axxess Telkom 220GB + 220GB 10-150Mbps 10-150Mbps R999
RSAWEB MTN 250GB + 250GB 10-150Mbps 10-150Mbps R1,495
Supersonic MTN 200GB + 200GB 10-150Mbps 10-150Mbps R999
Vox Telkom 220GB + 220GB 10-150Mbps 10-150Mbps R999
Telkom Telkom 1TB 10-150Mbps 10-150Mbps R999
Rain Rain Uncapped 10Mbps 10Mbps R479
Afrihost MTN Uncapped 10-150Mbps 10-150Mbps R2,949
5G (Router included)
ISP Network Data Download Speed Upload Speed Price per month
Vodacom Vodacom 100GB + 100GB 150-200Mbps 15Mbps R1,199 x 24
Vodacom Vodacom 200GB + 200GB 150-200Mbps 15Mbps R1,499 x 24
Vodacom Vodacom 300GB + 300GB 150-200Mbps 15Mbps R1,599 x 24
Vodacom Vodacom 400GB + 400GB 150-200Mbps 15Mbps R1,799 x 24
Rain Rain Uncapped 30Mbps 30Mbps R699
Rain Rain Uncapped 200Mbps+ 50Mbps+ R999

Now read: New Telkom LTE packages and free data upgrades from Axxess

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The best options for South Africans without fibre