How many fibre infrastructure and service providers there are in South Africa

Since the Parkhurst fibre project in 2014, fibre connectivity in South Africa has grown significantly.

Parkhurst appointed Vumatel, a new entrant to the market, to roll out its network at the time.

Since then, Vumatel has grown to be a significant force in the residential fixed-line market.

Where residential fibre networks were typically limited to experiments or affluent gated communities, they have expanded into middle-class neighbourhoods and security complexes.

Vumatel also recently announced the expansion of its network into lower-income township areas, with the planning stages of its roll-out in Alexandra complete.

Uncapped services of up to 100Mbps have also become affordable in the country, while infrastructure operators have launched 200Mbps and 1Gbps connections.

The success of Vumatel has given rise to several new fibre infrastructure players in South Africa, while established entities started rolling out more aggressively to compete with the newcomers.

Fibre providers

Providing a specific number of residential fibre infrastructure operators is difficult, however, as even the FTTX Council Africa does not maintain a count.

The Council said that as an industry organisation it does not look at FTTH in isolation.

“Infrastructure players include Openserve, Vumatel, MFN, SADV, Frogfoot, Vodacom, MTN, Liquid, TTConnect, Atec, DFA, Lightstruck, and Netstream,” said the FTTX Council Africa.

“What these companies have in common is that they all deploy infrastructure, however, some of them also provide Internet services.”

A count of infrastructure players operating with independent Internet service providers comes in at over 30 companies, however.

This includes Octotel, Cape Connect, Evotel, Mitsol, and the FairCape Group’s Internect, as well as networks which only operate in specific neighbourhoods.

Getting a sense of the number of Internet service providers which sell fibre broadband packages is equally difficult.

“There are always new ISPs entering the market that have identified buying power and are making a play for customers,” said the FTTX Council Africa.

Fibre Tiger has 21 ISPs listed, some of them also infrastructure providers. Some companies will only focus on providing services to business, while others will concentrate on consumers.”

Comparing the list of ISPs on Fibre Tiger to those on the websites of infrastructure operators like Vumatel, Frogfoot, and Octotel reveals that no one site appears to list all offers.

When adding in ISPs such as RocketNet, Adept ICT, and goturbo – along with wireless ISPs which also offer fibre services, such as WIRUlink, Bronberg Connect, and Level-7 – there are well over 50 service providers selling fibre packages in South Africa.

It is clear the market is vibrant, and infrastructure and service providers alike are competing for customers.

Fibre infrastructure operators in SA

The list below contains the fibre infrastructure providers currently operating in South Africa, based on ISP offerings.

  1. Openserve
  2. Vumatel
  3. FibreCo
  4. MetroFibre Networx
  5. SADV
  6. Frogfoot
  7. Vodacom
  8. MTN
  9. Liquid Telecom
  10. TTConnect
  11. ATEC/FibreSuburb
  12. DFA
  13. Lightstruck
  14. Netstream
  15. Cape Connect
  16. Evotel
  17. Octotel
  18. Clear Access
  19. Maboneng
  20. Mitsol
  21. Blitz Fibre
  22. FairCape/Internect
  23. Steyn City
  24. Cool Fibre
  25. Waterfall Access Network
  26. Balwin Fibre
  27. Aeonova
  28. Cybersmart
  29. Vanilla
  30. Century City Connect
  31. The Hub
  32. Accelerit
  33. Teralink
  34. Seacom
  35. LinkAfrica

Now read: Western Cape free Wi-Fi and 1Gbps fibre project update

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How many fibre infrastructure and service providers there are in South Africa