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|
|Dark Fibre Africa||10Mbps||5Mbps||100GB||R499||R100|
|Dark Fibre Africa||10Mbps||5Mbps||Uncapped||R599||R100|
|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|
*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.