MetroFibre’s big expansion and acquisition plans for 2023

MetroFibre has big plans for 2023, including expanding its network to pass more homes and focusing on increasing its ratio of homes passed and homes connected. The fibre network operator (FNO) hopes to pass 500,000 more homes by 2025.

MyBroadband spoke to MetroFibre Networx regarding its plans for the year. The FNO said it aims to pass an additional 85,000 to 100,000 with its network in 2023.

MetroFibre expanded its network significantly last year, with the company adding over 140,000 homes passed, and it plans to continue with its expansion this year.

It said that its focus for 2023 is to connect more homes to its network to increase its homes connected penetration ratio.

The FNO is currently the third largest in South Africa, and an additional 85,000 to 100,000 homes passed will bring its total to between 535,000 and 550,000.

With 450,000 homes passed and 116,000 connected, the FNO currently has a connection rate of 29%.

One of MetroFibre’s major plans for 2023 is to increase its market share in South Africa.

“We will be monitoring the market for the potential for further consolidation, with a view to acquisitions,” it said.

“We are well advanced in our strategy to gain further market share, both organically as well as through strategic acquisitions.”

MetroFibre said it would also look to bring solutions to emerging and underserved markets.

“Growth is not only about having the capital to rollout infrastructure, but also developing solutions for the changing needs of our business and residential customers, and specifically underserved communities,” it said.

“The target is for areas that do not currently have fibre, near to our current network, where there is demand for fibre internet connectivity.”

The FNO said it would look at implementing unique solutions, like prepaid fibre, for these underserved communities. Residents of such communities often only need connectivity periodically, making long-term contracts impractical.

“MetroFibre Networx is also looking to reach underserved areas with unique solutions and packages that cater for customers who may only require intermittent use, where a pay-as-you-go model would be more practical for customers who don’t need an ‘always on’ service,” it said.

“Here we’re looking at affordable top-up-packages that allow customers to pay only when they need it, removing the concern of lengthy contracts.”

“Called MetroConnect, it focuses on pay-as-you-go time-based vouchers for uncapped data at 20Mbps, with the flexibility to top-up when you need to, for as long as you need it,” the FNO added.

MetroConnect clients will need to pay a once-off activation fee of R260, giving them access to their free-to-use ONT and router and a symmetrical 20Mbps service for the first two weeks.

The FNO specified that the ONT and router remain the property of MetroFibre.

Once the initial two-week period has lapsed, MetroConnect customers can select top-ups ranging from R20 for 24 hours to R400 for 30 days. These packages are only time-based, meaning users get unlimited data for the validity period.

MetroFibre said it would announce new fibre-to-the-home product developments in March 2023 but couldn’t provide further details. These will be shared closer to the launch.

The FNO began expanding its network in various areas in South Africa in 2022. It said it aims to complete expansions to the following areas in 2023:

  • Durban and the South Coast of KZN;
  • Thembisa;
  • South Johannesburg;
  • Kwa Thema;
  • Parts of Port Elizabeth;
  • St. Francis;
  • Jeffreys Bay;
  • Beaufort West;
  • Queenstown;
  • Bloemhof;
  • Cristiana;
  • Warrenton; and,
  • Riverside View.

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MetroFibre’s big expansion and acquisition plans for 2023