Vumatel names five new fibre suburbs - TechCentral

Vumatel names five new fibre suburbs

Niel Schoeman

Niel Schoeman

Vumatel, the telecommunications start-up challenging Telkom’s dominance of fixed-line broadband in some of Johannesburg’s upmarket suburbs, has announced it is expanding its network to five new areas of the city.

The company said in a statement on Thursday that it will begin construction in Emmarentia later this month. This will be followed by deployments starting early next year in Forest Town, Parktown, Gallo Manor and Melrose.

This comes weeks after Vumatel announced plans to extend its fibre infrastructure into Northcliff, Sharonlea, Hyde Park and Olivedale.

Vumatel said Gallo Manor “provided one of the most stringent discovery processes encountered by Vumatel with regard to broadband connectivity within a suburb”.

“In the case of Gallo Manor, the evaluation was based on a broad range of 13 criteria, including price, community involvement and commitment, connectivity for religious institutions and schools, and technical solutions, among others,” the company said.

Brian Seligmann, a well-known technology industry veteran who led the Gallo Manor community project, said: “Gallo Manor issued a ‘technology neutral’ request for proposals in order to ensure that the best solution to the broadband problem [in the suburb]was addressed.

“It was primarily broadband linked. However, other services such as over-the-top television/video and the connection of our guardhouses and closed-circuit TV infrastructure were critical elements, too,” Seligmann said.

Vumatel has already deployed fibre infrastructure in Parkhurst, Parktown North, Greenside, Killarney, Riviera, Saxonwold and Parkwood. It is building networks in Blairgowrie, Victory Park, Linden, Hurlingham, Glenadrienne, Willowild, Riepen Park and Bryanston, it said.

Earlier this month, TechCentral reported that Vumatel had secured new funding from financial services provider Investec, which has taking a stake in the start-up business.

Neither party provided much detail about the deal. It’s not known what percentage stake Investec has bought, nor how much it is investing in the telecoms provider.

Vumatel CEO Niel Schoeman said at the time that the investment would allow the company to “connect up to 100 000 homes by 2016”.

Vumatel first began deploying fibre broadband connectivity in the upmarket Johannesburg suburb of Parkhurst in 2014.  — © 2015 NewsCentral Media


  1. Call me when they start laying fibre on Jules Street and Vilakasi St. Orlando West.
    This is more cherry picking of ‘burbs packed with BEE deployees who can well afford 3G in the first place.

  2. The Emperor has no clothes... on

    Have you ever actually been to any of the suburbs? I live in one of them and I can assure you that neither I, nor any of my neighbours, are ‘BEE deployees’. We are a microcosim of 21st century working middle and upper-middle class SA. A wide variety of ages, ethnic groups, educations, religions, and races. We may be privileged within the current SA context but pretty much all of us work for a living.

    If you want FTTH in your suburb then do what we did and mobilise your community to do something about it instead of complaining that everyone but you is getting FTTH. The business model works and any suburb in SA with access to ADSL or the demographic of people who would buy ADSL if it was available can easily get a company like Vuma to deploy fibre. PM me and I’ll give you the contact details of the companies as well as any assistance that your suburb/community needs to go through the process.

  3. Would you or Neil Schoeman be about to tell me what Vumatel charged for this Utopian Rainbow Nation leafy suburbs very Optional Extra?
    What does each Happy Clicker household in your neck of the woods now pay each month to be on the Vumatel digital bandwagon?

  4. The Emperor has no clothes... on

    There is no upfront commitment. The low end is R432/month for 4Mbps and 100GB including line rental, ISP charges, & bandwidth. Compare that to ADSL where the same package would be around R500/month excluding Telkom line rental of approx R180/month. There are other differences including ADSL = Up to the promised speeds whereas FTTH = you get the speed you pay for. No shaping, no contention, and no throttling. Also voice calls at less than 50c/minute (1 ISP is offering unlimited calling including international for under R250/month) and speeds up to 1Gbps which neither ADSL or VDSL can offer.

    You need to stop being a ‘bitter & twisted’ cynic and accept that a lot of things in SA are improving and that not everyone is out to rip you off. I’ve made the offer to assist your community to get FTTH – I’ll even do it for free.

    FYI I have no connection to Vuma and owe them nothing. Neither do they owe me anything.

  5. Davebee – please Feel free to pick up the slack and start selling your own solutions on Jules Street and Vilakasi St. Orlando West. If you have a winning business solution that can be rolled out, don’t let Vumatel hold you back.

  6. Greg Mahlknecht on

    As someone deeply involved in a community initiative on the brink of rolling out, I can confirm that it’s cheaper than what you’re currently paying for similar service on Telkom and/or mobile.

    The FTTH provider charges nothing upfront, they usually do the infrastructure roll-out at their own risk.

    As for your comment about cherrypicking suburbs – that’s just how this game works. You deploy in the places you’re likely to make a return on your investment, this gives you the capital to roll out in a place that you can’t recoup as much money as the more “utopian” suburbs, and so on.

    If you got a non-binding expression of interest from Jules Street or Vilakasi street from about half the residents (ie. exactly the same qualifying rules as in the leafy suburbs), there would be a number of FTTH providers more than happy to deploy in the area.

    The only conclusion I can draw from your comments is that you don’t know how this game works. I know you have a history in Telkom, but this is a new world, and things work differently, you should catch up – as Emperor says, it’s actually quite encouraging, it might break some of your cynicism.

  7. “FTTH = you get the speed you pay for. No shaping, no contention, and no throttling. ”

    Are you sure about this? so if there are 500 residents in your suburb, your ISP guarantees each house hold 100Mbps (if they all subscribed to 100Mbps) no matter what time of the day or usage is taking place?

  8. Green advocator on

    awesome that would be perfect for us with school age kids needing to do research for school projects etc., am not greedy the low end is good enough for me. Would love to see them come to Kempton Park.

  9. If I’m not mistaken ISPs use oversubscription ratios to ensure that all clients get their promised link speeds, but since statistically there’ll never be a situation where all clients need their full bandwidth, they can have more subscribers than the link could theoretically support at each full link speed. Inactive users get dropped so active ones can be muxed at full link speed when these users (sporadically) connect. There is a formula to determine this, I imagine ISPs will consider this so there’s no contention issues.

  10. The Emperor has no clothes... on

    Correct. And because it’s properly Open Access you can keep your ISP both honest and competitive.

  11. The Emperor has no clothes... on

    Mobilise your community and create the required levels of interest and commitment. Pretty much any of the FTTH providers will be interested if you prove to them that there is sufficient interest in your area.

  12. So are you running running 100% on fibre? no wireless links in between? Like Antony said-if there are 500 residents in your suburb, your ISP guarantees each house hold 100Mbps (if they all subscribed to 100Mbps) no matter what time of the day or usage is taking place?

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