Neotel has launched its commercial long-term evolution (LTE) broadband network in parts of Johannesburg and Pretoria. The operator is using the 1,8GHz band to offer LTE download speeds of 2Mbit/s, 5Mbit/s and 10Mbit/s on an unshaped, uncapped plans for prices ranging between R999/month and R2 899/month.
The prices are subject to users signing a 24-month contract.
The company says it will expand the offering to other regions over the next 12 to 18 months, with Cape Town most likely to follow first.
Neotel’s LTE services are offered as part of its NeoBroadband plans and are available immediately. The first phase of the roll-out involves about 50 Neotel base stations around Gauteng.
Users will need a dedicated NeoBroadband router to access the service, along with an antenna to boost signal.
Upload speeds are at 30% of the allocated download speed. Neotel says the LTE service is aimed at both consumers and business users, as either a primary or secondary connection.
Neotel promises low latency of between 20ms and 40ms, low contention access and the ability to stream high-definition video without buffering.
Installation costs R1 500 with the 2Mbit/s, 5Mbit/s and 10Mbit/s services priced at R999, R1 799 and R2 899/month respectively.
Neotel CEO Sunil Joshi says the company can offer customers a “full suite of services from the low end of bandwidth requirements to the high end”. He says Neotel can offer customers the speeds they need “on a medium they are comfortable with and at a price point that delivers true value for the service they require”.
“Neotel can deliver a 100Mbit/s broadband service over fibre to a large business customer with enormous data traffic, or a 10Mbit/s service to a medium-sized business over LTE.”
Abid Qadiri, Neotel’s chief of business solutions, says other packages, including faster connections, will follow in coming months.
The service is subject to a fair-use policy (see table below).
Neotel LTE fair-use policy
|Line speed||Soft cap usage limit||Reduced line speed|
Qadiri says Neotel has also tested 20Mbit/s and 40Mbit/s services, but won’t be offering these at launch. He says the service is pitched as a DSL replacement for high-use consumers. — (c) 2013 NewsCentral Media