South African fibre war — Frogfoot and MetroFibre taking on big guns

Frogfoot and MetroFibre are taking on Vumatel and Openserve with their rapid fibre rollouts across the country.

Frogfoot currently has 334,114 homes passed and 127,416 connected, and MetroFibre passes 350,000 with 95,000 connected.

It may not appear to be much compared to Openserve’s roughly 800,000 homes passed and 358,528 connected and Vumatel’s 1.5 million homes passed and over 450,000 connected.

However, Frogfoot and MetroFibre have achieved these figures at an impressive rate.

MyBroadband contacted Frogfoot and MetroFibre for insight into their plans.

MetroFibre said it plans to focus on its current build areas, with a target of 500,000 homes passed within three years.

“For the rest of the year, we will continue to focus on our existing build areas and current [work in progress], ultimately targeting 500k houses passed over the next 3 years,” it said.

Frogfoot said its strategy aimed at connecting smaller towns, which it believes it has achieved, and that it will now start to try and reach new areas.

“We started with a strategy to get to smaller towns, which we feel that we have achieved, and we believe we have succeeded in getting homes and businesses in need of a better connectivity solution connected to world-class fibre,” it said.

“There are other areas that are being looked into based on additional factors and plans which may change at a later stage.”

However, Frogfoot noted that it expects rollouts to slow down.

“We foresee that the actual build of FTTH areas will slow down due to feasibility, and the number of initial homes surveyed are now covered,” it said.

MetroFibre also told MyBroadband that it had begun rolling out a new product — MetroConnect — in June 2022.

“MetroFibre’s MetroConnect solution is a new pre-paid pay-as-you-go service which provides a 20Mbps fibre connection into your home with the flexibility to top-up when you need to, for as long as you need it,” MetroFibre Networx’s head of product development, Brett Russel, explained.

The MetroConnect package has a once-off activation fee of R260, which gets you your free-to-use ONT/Router and a 20Mbps service as well as the first two weeks of service, with no installation fee.

MetroFibre noted that the free-to-use ONT and router would remain the fibre network operator’s property (FNO) property.

Top-ups will range from R20 for 24 hours to R400 for 30 days.

“You get access to an unlimited data, uncapped symmetrical 20Mbps package … and pay only when you need it, removing the concern of lengthy contracts,” it said.

A breakdown of the number of homes passed and connected by Frogfoot, MetroFibre, Vumatel, and Openserve is provided in the table below.

Fibre operator Homes passed Homes connected
Frogfoot 334,114 127,416
MetroFibre 350,000 95,000
Openserve 801,084 358,528
Vumatel 1,500,000 450,000+

Now read: Frogfoot launches 1Gbps fibre special for under R1,000

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South African fibre war — Frogfoot and MetroFibre taking on big guns