With 17-million households across the country, there is opportunity for more players to enter the market, particularly in areas outside of the major cities. Picture: KRISZTIAN BOCSI/BLOOMBERG
With 17-million households across the country, there is opportunity for more players to enter the market, particularly in areas outside of the major cities. Picture: KRISZTIAN BOCSI/BLOOMBERG

In a country where the cost to access the internet has been prohibitively high for a number of years, especially on mobile, fibre remains the cheapest option per unit of data consumed.

In this edition of the Business Day Spotlight, we talk about the state of SA’s fibre internet connectivity market, with a focus on customer service.

Our host Mudiwa Gavaza is joined by Simon Swanepoel, CEO of RocketNet, a local internet service provider that specialises in fibre.

Join the discussion: 

Swanepoel begins by explaining the difference between fibre network operators such as Remgro-owed Vumatel and Telkom’s Openserve and internet service providers (ISP) like Cool Ideas, AfriHost and RocketNet that cater to consumers and businesses.

Mudiwa Gavaza. Picture: DOROTHY KGOSI.
Mudiwa Gavaza. Picture: DOROTHY KGOSI.

Over the past decade, SA’s fibre market has grown to 2-million households. With 17-million households across the country, there is an opportunity for more players to enter the market, particularly in areas outside of the major cities, Swanepoel says.

The ISP boss says customer service is key to their operation and has helped the industry to grow. He gives details around an artificial intelligence-based customer services platform that RocketNet has developed.

Discussion topics include: the history of RocketNet’s business; the evolution of SA’s fibre network industry; the opportunity for ISPs in the local market; the importance of customer services for telecoms operators; challenges faced in connecting more outlying areas to fibre; and the potential impact of a new minister overseeing the telecommunication portfolio.

Engage on Twitter at #BDSpotlight

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 Business Day Spotlight is a TimesLIVE Podcasts production.

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