Entry-level fibre price comparison — 15Mbps from R247 and 20Mbps from R329

Pricing for entry-level fibre packages in South Africa has dropped considerably in recent years, and residential broadband customers served by Zoom Fibre can get a symmetrical 15Mbps package for R247 per month.

The availability of these low-cost packages remains limited to specific neighbourhoods, as they are only available on smaller operators as products specifically designed for low-income neighbourhoods.

With growth in the middle and high-income fibre market waning, South Africa’s fibre network operators (FNOs) are increasingly focusing on improving fibre accessibility in lower-income areas.

Fibre operators like Vumatel, Frogfoot, and Openserve have rolled out lower-cost fibre networks to underserved lower-income areas, offering services on a prepaid basis.

Openserve launched its Prepaid Connect product in April 2022, offering customers an asymmetrical 20Mbps fibre connection for two weeks upon installation. Customers can then buy seven-day uncapped bundles.

Frogfoot followed suit with Rise (styled RISE) — its prepaid pilot — in October 2023 to expand its footprint in the country.

Frogfoot Rise customers can buy access vouchers, with pricing starting at R69 for seven days’ access to an asymmetrical 10Mbps connection. Frogfoot Rise prepaid access vouchers go up to 50/25Mbps for 30 days.

However, Vumatel has been the pioneer in prepaid fibre rollouts. It launched its first prepaid fibre product — Vuma Reach — in October 2019.

While Vuma Reach is aimed at lower-income households earning between R5,000 and R30,000 a month, it went a step further in September 2023 when it began targeting households earning less than R5,000 a month with its Vuma Key product.

The FNO says it can keep pricing for its Vuma Reach and Key products low by using cheaper deployment methods than it uses in wealthier suburbs.

Vumatel is the biggest FTTH provider in the country. It revealed that its network had passed just shy of two million homes and connected nearly 650,000 as of September 2023.

Telkom’s Openserve takes second place, with around 1.15 million homes passed and just under 550,000 connected as of September 2023.

Vumatel and Openserve can be considered superpowers in the South African fibre market, with the pair being the only two FNOs to have passed more than one million homes.

The next closest competitors have passed around half as many homes and connected a third as many customers.

However, many of these smaller players in the FNO market offer highly competitive pricing.

Entry-level fibre price comparison

MyBroadband used Internet service provider (ISP) Afrihost’s pricing to compare fibre packages available from various FNOs in South Africa.

We used Afrihost as it supports a broad selection of fibre networks and split fibre packages into categories based on speeds — 10Mbps to 15Mbps, 20Mbps to 30Mbps, and 40Mbps to 50Mbps.

Our analysis found that Zoom Fibre offers the cheapest fibre packages in South Africa — its symmetrical 15Mbps line — at R247 per month.

Link Layer isn’t far behind. It sells a symmetrical 10Mbps fibre package for R257 per month.

Altogether, only three FNOs sell 10Mbps or 15Mbps packages for less than R300 per month, with the third being Frogfoot Air’s line with 10Mbps download and 1Mbps upload speeds for R297.

Netstream sells the most expensive fibre line in the 10Mbps to 15Mbps category at R687 per month for a symmetrical 10Mbps connection.

Openserve Web Connect offers the most affordable line in the 20Mbps to 30Mbps, with its asymmetrical 20Mbps package coming in at R329 per month.

Zoom Fibre also compares well in this speed category, taking the spot for the second-most affordable package — its symmetrical 30Mbps line for R447 per month.

Frogfoot Air also sells a fibre line through Afrihost for R447 per month. However, it is a slower connection, with a maximum download speed of 20Mbps and upload speed of 2Mbps.

Netstream sells the most expensive package in the category, with its symmetrical 20Mbps offering coming in at R867 per month.

Telkom’s wholesale and networks division, Openserve, offers the most affordable fibre packages in the 40Mbps to 50Mbps category.

Its asymmetrical 40Mbps line on its Web Connect network costs R389 through Afrihost, while its asymmetrical 50Mbps on its core network is priced at R547.

Frogfoot takes third place. It sells a fibre line with 40Mbps download and 10Mbps upload for R557 monthly.

Netstream’s symmetrical 50Mbps line is the most expensive in the category at R1,137 per month.

Below is a price comparison of entry-level fibre packages up to 50Mbps available through Afrihost.

Entry-level fibre price comparison
FNO Download speed Upload speed Monthly price
10Mbps to 15Mbps
Zoom Fibre 15Mbps 15Mbps R247
Link Layer 10Mbps 10Mbps R257
Frogfoot Air 10Mbps 1Mbps R297
Comtel Communications 10Mbps 10Mbps R427
Fibre Suburb Networks 10Mbps 10Mbps R497
DNATel 10Mbps 10Mbps R597
Purple Forest 10Mbps 10Mbps R627
Mitsol 10Mbps 10Mbps R627
TT Connect 15Mbps 15Mbps R677
Netstream 10Mbps 10Mbps R687
20Mbps to 30Mbps
Openserve Web Connect 20Mbps 10Mbps R329
Zoom Fibre 30Mbps 30Mbps R447
Frogfoot Air 20Mbps 2Mbps R447
MetroFibre Nexus 25Mbps 25Mbps R497
Link Layer 30Mbps 30Mbps R497
Vodacom 20Mbps 10Mbps R497
MetroFibre Nova 25Mbps 25Mbps R497
Octotel 25Mbps 25Mbps R527
Think Speed 30Mbps 15Mbps R557
Comtel Communications 25Mbps 25Mbps R577
Clear Access 25Mbps 25Mbps R597
Link Africa 25Mbps 25Mbps R597
Vodacom 20Mbps 20Mbps R597
Evotel 20Mbps 5Mbps R627
DNATel 30Mbps 30Mbps R627
Lightstruck 30Mbps 10Mbps R647
Fibre Suburb Networks 25Mbps 25Mbps R647
Open Fibre 20Mbps 5Mbps R697
Think Speed 30Mbps 30Mbps R697
Mitsol 25Mbps 25Mbps R727
Lightstruck 30Mbps 30Mbps R747
TT Connect 30Mbps 30Mbps R827
Purple Forest 20Mbps 20Mbps R827
Netstream 20Mbps 20Mbps R867
40Mbps to 50Mbps
Openserve Web Connect 40Mbps 20Mbps R389
Openserve 50Mbps 25Mbps R547
Frogfoot 40Mbps 10Mbps R557
Openserve 50Mbps 50Mbps R647
Vodacom 50Mbps 25Mbps R647
Zoom Fibre 50Mbps 50Mbps R647
Frogfoot 40Mbps 40Mbps R657
Comtel Communications 50Mbps 50Mbps R677
Clear Access 50Mbps 50Mbps R697
Link Africa 50Mbps 50Mbps R697
Vodacom 50Mbps 50Mbps R697
Vumatel 50Mbps 50Mbps R727
Link Layer 50Mbps 50Mbps R727
Octotel 50Mbps 50Mbps R747
DNATel 50Mbps 50Mbps R747
Fibre Suburb Networks 50Mbps 50Mbps R747
Think Speed 50Mbps 25Mbps R767
Open Fibre 50Mbps 50Mbps R797
Mitsol 50Mbps 50Mbps R827
Lightstruck 50Mbps 25Mbps R847
Lightstruck 50Mbps 50Mbps R897
Think Speed 50Mbps 50Mbps R899
Purple Forest 50Mbps 50Mbps R997
Netstream 50Mbps 50Mbps R1,137

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Entry-level fibre price comparison — 15Mbps from R247 and 20Mbps from R329