Vumatel Plans To Launch R89 Uncapped Fibre Option

Vumatel is launching an uncapped fibre package for R89 per month to township residents in South Africa. We find out more.
Melissa Cohen
Local internet service provider, Vumatel, is planning on launching an R89/month uncapped fibre internet plan.  It is focused specifically on providing people within township areas with the opportunity to gain access to an internet connection at a low price. According to Vumatel's Kirsten Eddey, Vumatel has done a lot research in order to ensure that this project is going to be successful.
"At the moment we are going to run the project in isolation. We want to do a pilot to see if it works and to iron out all the kinks that we might come across." Read more about the best data prices in South Africa!

Where And When Will This Happen? 

Eddey explains that Vumatel will not dig trenches for the fibre cables, but rather have aerial cables above the ground. The infrastructure for the project will begin in November this year and they hope to complete it by March 2018. There will be a pilot project which will take place in the Alexandra township in Johannesburg. If successful, it will be rolled out further.  Eddey mentions that they aim to have the pilot up and running in April next year to see how viable this will be.

Is It A Viable Option?

Fibre cables provide users with super fast internet, compared to the regular ADSL line. The fibre cables will be attached to power poles that will cater for twenty houses per pole. These cables are made out of glass and have no monetary value, so stealing these cables would be worthless. Theft and vandalism of the infrastructure was one of the issues that was raised when designing the project. However, Eddey is confident that the cables will remain secure.
"They already have lots of existing infrastructure in the townships like telephone poles, telephone wires, electricity and DSTV, and the general consensus is if this thing is adding value to my life, I'm not going to damage it."
Vumatel promises to educate people in the townships about fibre internet. They aim to expose the benefits that internet connection will have on the community.
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Will It Really Just Be R89/Month? 

Users will have to buy their own routers as it would not be included in the package. Eddey explains that there are cheap routers available for as little as R100. This is a completely separate project from the rest of the Vumatel packages that they offer. They hope to use this as a way to break into a new market space and provide an endless world of opportunities to poorer communities. According to Vumatel's research, on average, a household in the township spends between R350/R400 per month on mobile data. By providing internet connection to these households, they could save themselves a whole lot of extra cash. The aim would be to provide 60 000 households with fibre connection by the end of 2018. If the pilot project proves to be successful, then the project will expand to other areas such as Soweto and Tembisa. Thereafter, Vumatel is hoping to go national. We will just have to watch this space and see if this company is able to make a change to the digital divide in South Africa!