The company plans to install 100Mb per second fibre at R89 a month, and will run a pilot project in Alexandra, which will include installing cables in the homes of people who live in informal settlements.

In an interview with TechCentral, Vumatel CEO Niel Schoeman said the company is hoping to reach other major metros by the end of 2018.

“Johannesburg is essentially done, and when you include other fibre operators into the mix, all the major metro areas will be done by the end of next year,” he told the publication. “We’re going to provide uncapped fibre to the home, with the equivalent user experience of what you’d get in the affluent suburbs at a price of less than 500MB of prepaid mobile data.

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“This is not corporate funding. This is a fundable model… without giving away too much of our business model – we have a little bit of magic that will make the economics work.”

Instead of the fibre being trenched, it will be strung along poles aerially. Having studied what the average spend on monthly data is, Vumatel hopes that with the affordable fibre installed, consumers will redirect some of their data spend to the fixed-access fibre.

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“Clearly we have solved only part of the problem: building out to affluent suburbs. In South Africa, we have unique challenges and big inequalities. The telecoms industry is inadvertently exacerbating these inequalities,” Schoeman was quoted as saying.

“It’s important for people to realise their ambitions. That’s why the ‘data must fall’ campaign is so emotive. It’s really complicated to function in today’s society without real access and an abundance of data.”

Following the roll-out of the pilot project in Alexandra, the company plans to take fibre to other townships around Gauteng and eventually to those in Cape Town and Durban.

Extra source: TechCentral