Cybersmart’s symmetrical 20Mbps uncapped fibre packages, at R599 per month, launched in January, and have grown to make up nearly half of the company’s sales.
“When fibre was first introduced, the early adopters would more than likely choose the highest speed, Cybersmart CTO Laurie Fialkov told MyBroadband.
“They based their purchasing decisions on speed and nothing more.”
As fibre became more widely available, however, the trend started to change and more lower-speed uncapped options are coming online as a result.
“People wanted to see the R599 price point to justify switching from [uncapped] ADSL,” said Fialkov.
“Now that fibre is being more widely adopted by the masses, purchasing decisions are a function of reliability, speed, and price.”
Fialkov said that as a result of the popularity of lower-speed fibre packages, we will start to see changes in charts and indices which rely on average speed measures for their rankings.
This trend could decrease average speeds across the board, but the ISPs with the most popular lower-end packages will be the hardest hit.
“If you worked out our average download speed last year, it would have been close to 400Mbps, because that was the only package we offered,” said Fialkov.
“If you work out our average speed now, it has been pulled down significantly by the 20Mbps product.”
Homes connected to fibre
The FTTX Council Africa recently provided statistics to the Department of Telecommunications which showed there were 280,000 fibre-connected homes in South Africa as of March 2018.
This is up from 89,000 homes from the year before, highlighting Fialkov’s point about wider adoption.
Homes passed by fibre also saw a 112% year-on-year increase, from 439,000 to 933,000.
While the growth of fibre in South Africa is tremendous, the number of connected users is still small compared to the peak of Telkom’s fixed-line empire, which had just under 5.5 million fixed-line subscribers in 2000.