Why Vumatel’s Soweto fibre is only available through two ISPs

Vumatel recently launched fibre in Soweto through its Vuma Reach project.

Vuma Reach is a fibre product designed to bring affordable fibre connectivity to South Africans living in townships.

“As one of the nation’s fastest-growing urban residential areas, Soweto and its residents have long been at the top of Vuma’s list to receive access to the Vuma Fibre Reach product,” said Vumatel.

Vuma Reach is a prepaid product available through participating ISPs on Vumatel’s network.

It was first launched in Mitchells Plain in the Western Cape after Vumatel interacted with the community and realised a traditional fibre solution would not have worked in the area.

Other areas now covered by Vuma Reach include Vosloorus, Tshwane, Grassy Park, and Blue Downs.

Vumatel explains ISP choices

While Vuma Reach in Mitchells Plain is available through a selection of five ISPs, only Webafrica and Supersonic currently offer the product in Soweto.

This is despite other ISPs telling MyBroadband they tried to negotiate with Vumatel to offer packages on the Vuma Reach service.

These ISPs said that as a result, customers were complaining they had been “limited” in terms of ISP choices compared to other areas.

Vumatel told MyBroadband it always engages with multiple ISPs and this was the case with its Vuma Reach expansion.

“We share both the legal and technical requirements and supporting documentation with these ISPs as they become available,” said Vumatel.

“To date, we have two ISPs that have completed the legal and technical onboarding for these new areas – and in the coming weeks expect more to join.”

Vumatel added that its ISP requirements are currently strict because Vuma Reach is still a new operating model.

As such [we] are aiming to control as many of the variables as we possibly can. As the model matures and the footprint/demand in Soweto and other emerging markets grows, we will look to change the criteria we currently have in place and we do have plans to bring on more ISPs,” Vumatel said.

Vuma Reach package

Vuma Reach fibre packages in Soweto are priced at R399 per month.

This service provides subscribers with uncapped data, and download and upload speeds of 20Mbps and 10Mbps respectively.

As part of the Vuma Reach product, customers will also receive the following:

  • Free installation worth R999
  • Free Phone Calls – 30 min/month
  • Free Router

The 30 minutes of free phone calls every month are a VoIP service offered by Webafrica and are bundled with its Vuma Reach fibre package.

Now read: How long 1GB of mobile data really lasts you

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Why Vumatel’s Soweto fibre is only available through two ISPs