Supersonic Air Fibre rollout plans and coverage areas revealed

Supersonic will roll out its Unlimited Air Fibre service in most of South Africa’s major cities – including Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town, and Durban – from May 2021.

This is word from Supersonic CEO Calvin Collett who was speaking at the 2021 MyBroadband Conference.

The ISP first announced its new Unlimited Air Fibre wireless broadband product in February 2021.

The solution uses cutting-edge telecommunications equipment with advanced noise-cancelling technology which can provide connectivity using unlicensed spectrum.

It includes radios which will be installed on MTN’s mobile towers to communicate with A4-sized antennas located at subscribers’ homes.

Due to running on unlicensed spectrum, it avoids the congestion which South Africa’s mobile networks are prone to.

This has allowed Supersonic to offer the service with uncapped data at attractive prices. Its entry level product is a 5Mbps service for R399 and the top-of-the-range offering is a 100Mbps service for R999.

To assess the greatest areas of interest for a potential rollout, Supersonic launched a “Show my interest” page, which had garnered more than 15,000 sign-ups just one month later.

Collett said they have seen great interest for the product in suburbs where there was no fibre coverage. Surprisingly, most of these were located in major cities and not the small towns Supersonic had anticipated.

Based on the feedback received, Collett said that Air Fibre will be rolled out to the following areas from May:

  • Greater Johannesburg
  • Greater Pretoria
  • Cape Town (including the Winelands area)
  • Durban
  • George
  • Pietermaritzburg
  • Rustenburg
  • Most of East London
  • Most of Port Elizabeth
  • Mamelodi
  • Soweto

Collett also elaborated on the capabilities of the Unlimited Air Fibre equipment.

The Tarana Wireless radios which are used are capable of achieving up to 700Mbps download speeds, but Supersonic is throttling speeds to ensure reliable performance for all users.

Each tower equipped with these radios will be able to service 2,000 customers – 500 each within a sector of 90-degrees.

Within 5km, the equipment delivers guaranteed speeds at near line-of-sight, which means it will still work with trees and similar obstacles between the tower and customer’s antenna.

Beyond this and up to a distance of 15km it will work provided that there is complete line of sight, Collet said.

He noted that these features, in conjunction with MTN’s vast base station network, are allowing Supersonic to aim for covering over 600,000 homes with Unlimited Air Fibre within its first year.

Supersonic CEO Calvin Collett interview

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Supersonic Air Fibre rollout plans and coverage areas revealed