Vodacom’s strange fibre-to-the-home prices explained

Vodacom recently extended its FTTH network through new lease agreements with Link Africa, Octotel, Frogfoot, and Waterfall Access Network.

The company also announced new price plans on Vumatel, Openserve, and Fibrehoods.

Vodacom further launched revised products and pricing on its own network, and introduced uncapped and symmetrical plans.

What is curious about Vodacom’s new pricing is that its FTTH is more expensive over its own network than on other providers.

This means it costs Vodacom more to use its own fibre infrastructure compared to wholesale access from another provider.

The table below shows the pricing difference for Vodacom’s FTTH products.

Vodacom FTTH Prices
Network Download Upload Data Price Price Difference*
Century City 10Mbps 5Mbps 100GB R399 R0
Dark Fibre Africa 10Mbps 5Mbps 100GB R499 R100
Octotel 10Mbps 5Mbps 100GB R549 R150
Fibrehoods 10Mbps 5Mbps 100GB R599 R200
Openserve 10Mbps 5Mbps 100GB R599 R200
Vodacom 10Mbps 5Mbps 100GB R599 R200
Network Download Upload Data Price Price Difference*
Century City 10Mbps 5Mbps Uncapped R499 R0
Frogfoot 10Mbps 5Mbps Uncapped R549 R50
Link Africa 10Mbps 5Mbps Uncapped R549 R50
Dark Fibre Africa 10Mbps 5Mbps Uncapped R599 R100
Octotel 10Mbps 5Mbps Uncapped R599 R100
Fibrehoods 10Mbps 5Mbps Uncapped R679 R180
Openserve 10Mbps 5Mbps Uncapped R799 R300
Vodacom 10Mbps 5Mbps Uncapped R799 R300
Network Download Upload Data Price Price Difference*
Frogfoot 100Mbps 100Mbps Uncapped R999 R0
Octotel 100Mbps 100Mbps Uncapped R1,199 R200
Vumatel 100Mbps 100Mbps Uncapped R1,299 R300
Link Africa 100Mbps 100Mbps Uncapped R1,399 R400
Metro Fibre Networx 100Mbps 100Mbps Uncapped R1,399 R400
Waterfall Access Network 100Mbps 100Mbps Uncapped R1,399 R400
SA Digital Villages 100Mbps 100Mbps Uncapped R1,499 R500
Vodacom 100Mbps 100Mbps Uncapped R1,999 R1,000

*Price Difference = Price of product – Most affordable price.

Vodacom explains its fibre prices

Vodacom explained why there are price discrepancies, as detailed below.

Vodacom’s current self-built fibre network has been predominantly targeted at high-end housing estates, where the initial infrastructure costs are significantly higher relative to other bitstream networks, which typically seek to pass as many houses/complexes as possible.

For example, in a high-end housing estate, 100m of fibre infrastructure will pass three to four houses, compared to 2 to 3 times that in, say, Parkhurst.

High-end housing estates also tend to have more open space (e.g golf courses) that add distance to infrastructure build.

Furthermore, the fibre connections from the boundary into the customers’ houses tend to be longer due to bigger stands, which results in more costs.

Additionally, we believe the network quality and technology deployed by Vodacom speaks for itself.

For example, Vodacom’s fibre is trenched up to the customer’s house, which is more expensive than aerial fibre networks.

Vodacom offers full management of the customer service up to the router, including customer care and usage management.

Vodacom also deploys a router that offers 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi. The router costs are included in contracts at no charge.

Even taking the above into account, Vodacom’s fibre product offering on its self-built network compares more than favourably to those utilising competitor self-built networks.

It’s also important to highlight that body corporates typically go out to tender when selecting a service provider for an estate.

The service provider in question would have to be awarded a grant of rights by the relevant ratepayers association to provide a network build.

Now read: Vodacom’s new fibre prices unveiled

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Vodacom’s strange fibre-to-the-home prices explained