Fibre war in South Africa — with 200Mbps packages under R1,000

South African households can now choose from several fibre-to-the-home packages (FTTH) with download speeds as high as 200Mbps for less than R1,000 per month.

Telkom’s wholesale fibre network operator (FNO) Openserve recently added a symmetric 100Mbps package and increased upload speeds on its high-end packages.

MyBroadband’s earlier analysis found Openserve’s offers won’t knock the socks off consumers when compared to those available from other major FNOs.

However, it now at least provides the option of higher speeds for those users who regularly need to upload large amounts of data and only have Openserve available in their area.

We compared the prices of Openserve’s new symmetric and asymmetric packages with those of four other big FNOs in the country — Frogfoot, MetroFibre, Octotel, and Vumatel.

Entry-level fibre download speeds vary substantially on these networks — going from 20Mbps to 35Mbps.

Because that makes them difficult to compare, we have excluded those packages from this analysis.

The table below shows how Openserve’s symmetric 50Mbps and 100Mbps packages with Internet Service Providers (ISP) Afrihost and Mweb compare to Vumatel, Frogfoot, MetroFibre, and Octotel.

Openserve symmetric versus rivals
Afrihost Mweb
Openserve R827 R749
Frogfoot R827 R799
MetroFibre R749 R679
Octotel R827 R749
Vumatel R729
Openserve R997 R959
Frogfoot R927 R899
MetroFibre R959 R799
Octotel R997 R959
Vumatel R929 R899

Some might argue that most users don’t need symmetric upload speeds as they will largely waste the extra capacity.

The vast majority of Internet users download much more content than they upload.

Several FNOs offer discounted prices on packages with lower upload speeds, which has contributed to Openserve having some of the best-priced entry-level packages on the market.

However, our comparison found these pricing benefits appear to dwindle on the higher-end Openserve asymmetric packages.

While the FNO performed substantially better in the asymmetric category, it was only the cheapest on the 50Mbps/25Mbps package from Afrihost. The price of that package is also the same as MetroFibre’s symmetric 50/50Mbps product.

Openserve’s top-end 500Mbps product was also the most expensive of the bunch from both Afrihost and Mweb.

The table below compares Openserve’s asymmetric packages with its rivals. Where an ISP did not have an asymmetric option, we used the symmetric package with the same download speed.

Openserve asymmetric versus rivals
Download/Upload Afrihost Mweb
Openserve 50/25Mbps R697 R689
Frogfoot 50/5Mbps R727 R659
MetroFibre 50/50Mbps R697 R679
Octotel 50/50Mbps R827 R749
Vumatel 50/20Mbps R729 (Upload: 50Mbps) R689
Openserve 100/50Mbps R947 R889
Frogfoot 100/10Mbps R827 R799
MetroFibre 100/100Mbps R897 R799
Octotel 100/100Mbps R997 R959
Vumatel 100/50Mbps R929 (Upload: 100Mbps) R849
Openserve 250/125Mbps R1,167 R1,049
Frogfoot 200/200Mbps R1,047 R939
MetroFibre 200/200Mbps R1,097 R979
Octotel 200/200Mbps R1,197 R1,149
Vumatel 200/200Mbps R1,049 R999
Openserve 500/250Mbps R1,347 R1,279
Frogfoot 500/50Mbps R1,347 (Upload: 500Mbps) R1,149
MetroFibre 500/500Mbps R1,297 R1,199
Vumatel 500/200Mbps R1,199 R1,149

Now read: Fibre rollouts becoming much cheaper in South Africa

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Fibre war in South Africa — with 200Mbps packages under R1,000