In the meantime we have a couple options that are better priced than most and offer pretty decent service. I used to be a loyal Axxess DSL customer but when it failed to take steps to reduce its pricing after G-Connect dropped its pricing to between R45/GB and R49/GB for ADSL access and Afrihost launched its limited duration and special R29/GB offer, I decided to switch.
- Pretty fast transfer speeds;
- Unshaped bandwidth;
- A single account for your ADSL, wifi and 3G connectivity;
- No commitment and your balance carries over month to month; and
- Excellent support (the support team are persistent).
- No concurrent connections;
- Cumbersome sign-on mechanism
- Pretty fast transfer speeds;
- Up to 5 concurrent connections;
- Minimal commitment, you can cancel at around a month, I think (this is pretty standard);
- Excellent price and if you buy during the special you lock that price in
- Shaped bandwidth;
- No bandwidth carry-over so use it or lose it;
- Reportedly dodgy customer service (although I haven’t had any problems)
At the moment I use both G-Connect and Afrihost. Afrihost is my primary DSL provider but I have credit with G-Connect for when I can’t use Afrihost for some reason or I am out and about and MTN 3G is half GPRS (happens fairly often lately). I also maintain a 1GB data bundle on Axxess as a kind of “in case of emergency break glass” option but I don’t see myself going back there in a hurry. Granted the Afrihost pricing is not sustainable but the R49/GB price point seems to be where ADSL should be priced these days and Axxess’ refusal to revisit its pricing or make any effort to communicate with its customers about its pricing puts me off (Axxess doesn’t seem to be on the social media map and that says a lot to me about the company’s desire to engage with customers).
While I am talking about IS products I also want to mention its Mobility product. This is a corporate product and analogous to the G-Connect service in that it encompasses wifi and 3G access outside the office. It is a lot more than just connctivity and includes a really comprehensive management system that grants network managers a fine grained level of control over who has what level of access to which network. It seems to be a pretty powerful option for corporates who want to give their people the ability to work remotely and at the same time control how they do that and even how they interface with the corporate network. I haven’t used much more than the 3G connectivity on my phone (like G-Connect you can provision your SIM to run on the IS network rather than your usual provider). I just couldn’t figure out how to get the 3G dongle working with my MacBook for some reason. This mention really doesn’t do the offering any justice. I just wanted to mention it here as a powerful corporate option that also comes with some competitive pricing.
Although pricing has hardly plummeted while bandwidth caps and transfer speeds have rocketed, we are seeing some very welcome relief when it comes to pricing and the flexibility to switch from provider to provider (well, assuming you weren’t nailed down by Telkom or some other larger provider). Even at R49/GB ADSL is becoming much more affordable and providers like G-Connect and Afrihost are putting some pressure on their competitors to do better. I would love to know the number of users other DSL providers lost when Afrihost announced its special offer. That must have been noticeable. I’m pretty happy with my current cho
ices although what I’d like to see is improved upload speeds. That is the next big thing, I think.