WirelessG fires fresh salvo in broadband price war - TechCentral

WirelessG fires fresh salvo in broadband price war

Carel van der Merwe

WirelessG is the latest Internet service provider to join the escalating SA broadband price war. The company has slashed the price of broadband on digital subscriber lines to just R14/GB on one of its G-Connect packages.

It claims that the new rate, which is available to prepaid consumers without the need to sign a contract, is the lowest in the market. The R14/GB (or 1,4c/MB) offer is available to consumers spending R389. That buys them 27,8GB of data. The only stipulation is that they must use the data within 3o days or lose it.

WirelessG is offering 15GB of ADSL bandwidth for R299 (about R20/GB) for 30 days and 9,1GB for R200 (about R22/GB). An entry-level G-Connect option for R150 gives users 5,4GB of ADSL data at a cost of about R28/GB. The prices exclude ADSL line rental charges which must still be paid to Telkom.

The data bundles can be used seamlessly across 3G and Wi-Fi networks, too, though the price for 3G and Wi-Fi is much higher. For example, on the R389 bundle, users pay R350/GB for 3G bandwidth and R280/GB for using WirelessG’s Wi-Fi hotspots.

The bandwidth is unshaped, too, meaning services like peer-to-peer networking should run at maximum speed.

WirelessG is 27% owned by Vodacom. Company CEO Carel van der Merwe (pictured) says new packages will give more South Africans the “opportunity to afford access to any broadband medium without any contractual commitments”.

The G-Connect offering appears to be the lowest in a market where broadband prices were averaging around R70/GB a year ago. The fall in bandwidth prices is largely attributed to the arrival of the Seacom cable system along Africa’s east coast. Seacom went live last year.

G-Connect's new pricing (click to enlarge)

G-Connect's new pricing (click to enlarge)

WirelessG, which is purchasing its bandwidth from Vodacom Business, won’t say if it’s losing money on its new offerings. Rival Afrihost has said it is subsidising the bandwidth it sells out of its marketing budget. It charges R29/GB and sometimes offers bandwidth top-ups for as little as R14,50/GB. Afrihost resells bandwidth from Dimension Data division Internet Solutions.

The announcement from WirelessG follows just a week after Vodacom Business announced that it had cut its international bandwidth prices by up to 50%.

Companies such as Afrihost, Screamer Telecoms and DigiChilli have all slashed their broadband prices in recent months.

WirelessG recently made headlines when it announced plans to offer in-flight broadband service on certain flights in sub-Saharan Africa.  — Duncan McLeod, TechCentral

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  1. I love this competition but I am curious to see who survives these price wars. R14/Gb can’t be sustainable at lower user numbers. Afrihost was pushing it at R29/GB but seems to be able to sustain those prices for now. The G-Connect pricing is very welcome and I may well buy more as I go but if the providers can’t sustain these prices it is going to lead to a lot of disappointment.

  2. Amazing pricing!! Loving all these prices. Don’t know how I would finish 27gigs in 30 days on a 384K connection. C’mon give us larger speeds on the cheap!!!! I would eat away at tvgorge.com all night long.

  3. If I read the pricing on the WirelessG site correctly, the price on the R389 package for 3G should be R350/Gig not R35 as per your article. Also, WiFi should be R280, not R28.

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