Openserve fibre speeds will soon double – at no extra cost to existing clients

Business Insider SA
Openserve Fibre
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  • Fibre network operator, Openserve, will be doubling its line speeds on 1 March 2021.
  • The upgrades will come at no extra cost to internet service provider partners.
  • Openserve’s current entry-level Fibre Connect package will change to 25Mbps, with the previous 10Mbps and 20Mbps offers falling away.
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South Africa’s largest telecommunications infrastructure provider, Openserve, will double the speed of its fibre lines in March 2021. This speed upgrade will come at no extra cost to internet service providers (ISPs) who use Openserve’s Fibre Connect network.

Openserve, a division of Telkom, currently covers more than 2.4 million households in South Africa. The fibre network operator (FNO), which prides itself on extending internet connectivity beyond cities and into townships, is the preferred partner of most national ISPs, with prices of entry-level packages offered by providers favouring Openserve.

Openserve’s infrastructure rollout has piggybacked on Telkom’s historic telecommunications monopoly, resulting in an easier access to the fibre market compared to independent providers. In turn, Openserve has managed to edge out FNO competitors, like Vumatel and Octotel, on price.

While end-user prices are ultimately determined by the ISP, Openserve’s inexpensive fibre line rentals – particularly with uncapped 10Mbps and 20Mbps packages, which cost providers around R410 per month – makes highspeed broadband more accessible.

But from 1 March 2021, as part of its broadband portfolio enhancement strategy, Openserve Fibre Connect (OFC) packages will start at 25Mbps symmetrical (holding the same upload and download speeds). These speed upgrades will not increase the OFC price.

Openserve Fibre Connect changes

Importantly, the 10Mbps and 20Mbps offer will cease to exist and will no longer be available to order. The existing 200Mbps services remains at the same speed but at the reduced 100Mbps price.

“As part of the speed upgrade, there will be no additional costs from Openserve impacting ISP partners directly related to this initiative as we are offering our ISP partners incentives to enable them to easily upgrade their customers,” explained Openserve.

Openserve is offering “further incentives” – in the form of discounted or free installations in partnership with ISPs – to “ease the transition process”.

These speed upgrades and incentives coincide with Openserve’s expansion plans through the Openserve Connect App which was launched in November 2020. The app allows existing customers to track their line speeds and provide feedback on their connectivity. Additionally, the app is aimed at potential customers who can request installations, track coverage, and stay up to date with Openserve’s area-based rollout plans.

Openserve’s move to increase its fibre speeds follows on from similar upgrades across multiple FNOs and ISPs during the height of lockdown.

Vumatel, Openserve’s biggest competitor on a national level, has also upgraded its line speeds and reversed an earlier decision to hike prices “until such time as the Disaster Management Act is halted”. Popular ISPs list Vumatel packages as being between 10% and 20% more expensive than Openserve’s.

(Compiled by Luke Daniel)

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