Supersonic CEO Calvin Collet has said that many cheap fibre deals flooding the South African market are unsustainable in the long run.
Speaking in an interview with MyBroadband, Collet stressed the importance of customer service and network stability in fibre packages from local ISPs, stating that Supersonic’s offering does not aim to be the cheapest.
Instead, he said that the ISP aims to offer the best value to consumers in the form of network health and service.
Supersonic was rated the best ISP in South Africa in MyBroadband’s Q2 2019 fibre provider ratings, which the company attributed to the improvement of the fibre network it inherited from Smart Village as well as its superior support channels.
Supersonic offers customer support through WhatsApp from 07:00 to 22:00, seven days a week, which Collet said has greatly improved the experience for the ISP’s customers.
When it comes to the ongoing fibre war in South Africa and the steadily-decreasing price of fibre packages, he said that Supersonic would not sacrifice the value it offers through its network quality and support services to become the cheapest ISP in South Africa.
Value vs price
“I think that the price has got to come to a point where it doesn’t make sense to go any lower,” Collet told MyBroadband. “There are around 100 ISPs of which 65 are sort of competitive. I think you have to be realistic about that as well.”
“We can’t just drop our price because everyone else is dropping their price.”
He said that Supersonic offers a lot of value through a better service and a better network.
“We are always going to be competitive, but we will never be the cheapest. There are lots of ISPs that are going out there at really silly margins and I struggle to see the sustainability of both their businesses and the industry if we keep doing this.”
“Something has got to change,” Collet said. “This isn’t a price-based sale, it’s about value.”
Cheap and nasty
Many of the cheapest fibre packages available in South Africa come with caveats and compromises – whether it is in terms of shaping and throttling, poor network stability, or sub-par customer support.
Collet said that he does not want to run Supersonic with a similar business model and will not compromise on the value of the ISP’s offerings.
“I don’t want to have to drop down to the lowest end, because we will have to sacrifice our consumer experience and value offering,” he said.
“I prefer offering decent customer service over the cheapest, nastiest offering out there. There are lots of those in the market.”
Supersonic is aiming for aggressive growth this year, with Collet stating that he plans for the ISP to reach 25% market share at some point in the future.
The company plans to accomplish this by delivering competitive fibre deals, exceptional customer support, and LTE-bundled offers through MTN.
By leveraging MTN’s customer base, Collet said Supersonic can grow its business while offering mobile customers discounted fibre packages.