iBurst has launched an uncapped satellite Internet service intended for small businesses and home users, particularly those in remote parts of the country, pitching it against companies like Vox Telecom, with its YahClick product.
Download speeds range from 1Mbit/s to 16Mbit/s, depending on the package, while upload speeds are up to 1Mbit/s. Plans cost between R900/month and R5 400/month.
Each package is subject to a daily fair use policy whereby users’ speeds are throttled when a limit is reached. This is reset the following day. The threshold and throttled speeds depend on the package in question (see the tables below for the full breakdown of each package).
iBurst services head Ronald Bartels says that although telecoms infrastructure in urban areas provides efficient services to millions of people, there are “substantial parts of the population in particular businesses and small and medium-sized enterprises in remote areas that do not have cost-effective access to broadband services”.
Bartels says the VSat offering can be installed anywhere in sub-Saharan Africa. “The service is uncapped, which means the subscriber never loses connectivity. Businesses are able to determine their own levels of service by selecting their own speeds and fair usage,” he says.
Users can choose between Vsat Uncapped and Vsat Uncapped Plus. Each plan offers connection speeds between 1Mbit/s and 16Mbit/s, but the Plus service adds unshaped use between 8pm and 8am. The cheaper plan is always shaped to prioritise e-mail and Web browsing over streaming and BitTorrent. Each package also allows users to carry over a portion of unused daily data.
“We opted for a daily fair-use policy because a monthly one is very restrictive for consumers,” Bartels says. “Often people don’t know they’ve been hacked or their Wi-Fi is being used by a neighbour and they only find out when their fair-use policy kicks in.”
He says daily limits help people spot problems more quickly and allow for occasional usage spikes, such as downloading updated software or other activities that only occur intermittently.
Each plan is subject to a 24-month service contract, a R2 500 installation fee and R6 950 for hardware, which can be paid back monthly.
Bartels says consumers can also choose to add two voice lines to the service. He says iBurst has done thorough testing to ensure latency usually associated with satellite telephony is not an issue.
iBurst is using satellite provider SkyeVine. — (c) 2013 NewsCentral Media
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