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.
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
- ADSL bandwidth price war gathers momentum
- SA airlines to get in-flight Wi-Fi service
- In-flight Wi-Fi: pricing details revealed