Supersonic has seen significant demand for its Unlimited Air Fibre wireless product, which was announced at the start of February 2021.
The ISP last month revealed it was launching the service to offer fibre-like uncapped wireless Internet in areas without fibre coverage.
Starting from R399 per month, customers can get fast, consistent download speeds of 5Mbps and upload of 2Mbps.
This goes all the way up to a 100Mbps/40Mbps connection at R999.
Similar to aerial fibre, Air Fibre infrastructure relies on connectivity through the air between a customer’s home and a base station connected to fibre backhaul.
However, Air Fibre operates wirelessly in an unlicensed spectrum band using new technology developed by Tarana Wireless.
This equipment supposedly has the ability to cancel out noise from other devices on the 5.8GHz band in order to optimise the signal for reliable, low-latency connectivity, with a guaranteed throughput per customer.
Thousands show interest
Alongside the announcement of Air Fibre, Supersonic invited people to log their interest in the product by providing their details on a dedicated landing page.
Supersonic told MyBroadband that more than 15,000 people had submitted their information as of Monday 8 March 2020, just more than a month after sign-ups went live.
Based on the information provided by interested parties, Supersonic identified 68 sites where Air Fibre will be available first.
In these locations, the service will start going live from 1 May 2021, the ISP stated.
Supersonic CEO Calvin Collett previously told MyBroadband each Air Fibre base station will be capable of supporting up to 2,000 customers with a combined 10Gbps data throughput.
That means that at peak capacity these 68 sites could carry up to 136,000 users, which would be around double the current number of fibre customers Supersonic has.
We asked the ISP whether it expected Air Fibre would have a substantial impact on its overall broadband offering – which also includes fixed-line fibre and fixed LTE.
“We believe that the three distinct product offerings will enable users to have the choice of what type of internet connection they choose,” Supersonic said.
“We do see the mix of Air Fibre versus traditional fibre changing significantly over the years, but our aim is to keep a measured approach to all types of connectivity,” it said.
Criticism of fibre names
Several MyBroadband readers have criticised the use of the “fibre” moniker in the product’s name, suggesting that it could dupe consumers into thinking they are buying a service with the same level of reliability as fixed-line optic fibre.
Supersonic told MyBroadband the naming convention underwent a scrupulous decision-making process.
The ISP said because of the performance of the service, it was fair to include the fibre moniker.
“We believe that due to the fact that it bears four core traits similar to fibre – namely low latency, high speed, unlimited data and guaranteed throughputs – it is reasonable to use ‘Fibre’ in the name, using ‘Air’ to clarify any misconceptions,” Supersonic stated.