Fibre is becoming increasingly available across South African neighbourhoods as network operators race to roll out their infrastructure to eligible areas.
The biggest of these fibre network operators (FNOs) are Openserve and Vumatel, both of which have partnered with a range of ISPs who offer both capped and uncapped packages on these networks.
There is a difference in pricing for each of these networks across multiple ISPs, however, and the best fibre deal to purchase depends heavily on which network offers fibre in your area.
Similarly, if two FNOs offer fibre connectivity to your residence, it is important to select the best network for the package you want.
We have outlined the basic pricing structure of various ISP packages below to highlight the pricing difference between Vumatel and Openserve.
Below is a comparison of uncapped fibre packages from various ISPs across both Vumatel and Openserve.
Vumatel synchronous 100/100Mbps packages were compared with 100/50Mbps packages from Openserve, as Openserve does not offer synchronous fibre lines to consumers.
It is also important to note the fair usage policy imposed by some ISPs on uncapped packages, as this could have a severe effect on heavy data users.
|100Mbps Uncapped fibre packages|
|ISP||Network||Fair Usage Policy||Speeds (down/up)||Price|
|Cybersmart||Vumatel||None||100Mbps / 100Mbps||R1,099|
|Afrihost||Openserve||None||100Mbps / 50Mbps||R1,117|
|Webafrica||Openserve||300GB||100Mbps / 50Mbps||R1,119|
|RSAWEB||Vumatel||None||100Mbps / 100Mbps||R1,139|
|Afrihost||Vumatel||None||100Mbps / 100Mbps||R1,197|
|Home Connect||Vumatel||None||100Mbps / 100Mbps||R1,208|
|Cool Ideas||Vumatel||None||100Mbps / 100Mbps||R1,219|
|BitCo||Vumatel||None||100Mbps / 100Mbps||R1,225|
|Vox||Vumatel||1TB||100Mbps / 100Mbps||R1,239|
|Vodacom||Vumatel||2.2TB||100Mbps / 100Mbps||R1,249|
|Webafrica||Vumatel||None||100Mbps / 100Mbps||R1,259|
|MWEB||Vumatel||1TB||100Mbps / 10Mbps||R1,269|
|Supersonic||Vumatel||None||100Mbps / 100Mbps||R1,279|
|Cell C||Vumatel||None||100Mbps / 100Mbps||R1,299|
|Cell C||Openserve||None||100Mbps / 50Mbps||R1,299|
|Cybersmart||Openserve||None||100Mbps / 50Mbps||R1,305|
|Axxess||Vumatel||300GB||100Mbps / 10Mbps||R1,308|
|Vodacom||Openserve||2.2TB||100Mbps / 50Mbps||R1,315|
|MWEB||Openserve||1TB||100Mbps / 50Mbps||R1,339|
|MWEB||Vumatel||1TB||100Mbps / 100Mbps||R1,369|
|Home Connect||Openserve||1,088GB||100Mbps / 50Mbps||R1,388|
|Axxess||Openserve||300GB||100Mbps / 50Mbps||R1,419|
|Vox||Openserve||1TB||100Mbps / 50Mbps||R1,449|
|BitCo||Openserve||None||100Mbps / 50Mbps||R1,495|
|Cool Ideas||Openserve||None||100Mbps / 50Mbps||R1,499|
|Supersonic||Openserve||None||100Mbps / 50Mbps||R1,499|
Capped fibre packages do not include a fair usage policy, and if you exceed the cap you can top up your data limit through your chosen ISP.
Once again, we compared packages which offered synchronous 100/100Mbps Vumatel deals with 100/50Mbps Openserve packages.
|100Mbps Capped Fibre Packages|
Choosing a deal
The tables above portray a clear picture of fibre pricing differences in South Africa.
Most notably, users with Openserve connectivity can purchase capped packages for significantly cheaper than if they were buying a Vumatel package, although this phenomenon disappears at around the 500GB level.
For uncapped users, Vumatel is clearly the best network in terms of pricing, as most uncapped packages are much cheaper than Openserve while providing an extra 50Mbps of upload speed.
If you have Vumatel fibre coverage, you should also opt to buy an uncapped product over a capped package, as these are around the same price as 100GB capped deals on the same network.
Of course, if you plan to use less than 100GB of data every month, there are better capped options available, but the growing data needs of consumers imply that this level of data usage would not be sustainable for long.
When it comes to Openserve, it seems that buying a capped package with 500GB or less data is cheaper than an uncapped product at the same speed.
This means that if you don’t plan to exceed this monthly data usage, capped packages are certainly viable for Openserve users.
There are various other considerations to account for when buying a fibre package aside from price, including customer support and the fair usage policy enforced by ISPs.
Buying a month-to-month fibre package may be slightly more expensive in some cases, but it does give you the flexibility to change if you find a cheaper deal elsewhere.