Internet service provider Afrihost’s management team, fresh from buying back the company from mobile operator MTN, is moving to shake up the fixed-line broadband market, providing capped digital subscriber line (DSL) users 18 hours a day of unlimited Internet access.
The ISP is offering the unlimited access between midnight and 6pm each day, meaning the only time usage contributes to bandwidth caps is the six hours daily between 6pm and midnight.
In a move clearly designed to spread the utilisation of its network throughout the day, Afrihost said the offer – called Free-Time – claimed it’s the first time an ISP in South Africa has provided capped users with unlimited free data during “prime time”.
Free‑Time is automatically enabled on all monthly Afrihost capped DSL packages, including bundles, the company said on its website on Thursday.
A positive data balance is required to qualify for Free‑Time. Once a user’s cap is depleted, they will not be able to access the Internet, unless they have “soft‑capping” through Afrihost Plus+ or they top up.
The promotion does not apply if an account is suspended or paused and is only valid until 30 November, after which the company will reassess the offer – either revising it, or extending it, it said.
Last month, TechCentral reported that MTN had taken an R88m bath on the sale of its 50% stake in Internet service provider Afrihost.
The telecommunications group revealed alongside its interim financial results for the six months to June 2016 that it had paid R408m in 2014 to acquire 50% (plus one share) of Afrihost. However, it has sold its stake back to Afrihost management just two years later for just R320m.
As a result, the group decided to recognise a goodwill impairment loss of R202m in the interim period on the re-measurement of the assets to fair value less cost to sell in accordance with accounting standards related to non-current assets held for sale and discontinued operations.
In its 2014 annual results published in March 2015, MTN revealed that it had shelled out R408m to acquire the controlling stake in Afrihost. It said at the time that a large portion of the value of the deal was made up of goodwill.
MTN’s acquisition of Afrihost was concluded in November 2014. — © 2016 NewsCentral Media