A little perspective on MWEB's seemingly cheap ADSL offering

News just broke about MWEB’s new pricing for its ADSL offerings including a remarkable R219 for uncapped ADSL (for a 384 kbps ADSL line).

MWEB DSL pricing.png

Businesses can expect to pay between R499 for 384 kbps DSL and R2 359 for up to 4 Mbps DSL. These prices are a little misleading and they vary depending on whether you are including ADSL line rental in your 12 month contract with MWEB (oh, yes, you need to sign a 12 month contract with MWEB).

The local Twittersphere has just gone crazy at the news with a number of people spreading the news as if it is the biggest ADSL news for the year to date. It is certainly fantastic news for MWEB subscribers who have been paying ridiculously high prices for their ADSL access so far. This pricing is not, however, the best pricing available to consumers or businesses. I don’t know how many businesses are still using 384 kbps lines unless their traffic is pretty much limited to email for a couple people so let’s assume more people will be using the faster connections. Once you are looking at pricing for the faster 4 Mbps lines, you can expect to spend around R2 000 for the pure data component with MWEB. Still not bad for an uncapped and unshaped ADSL connection, for sure. Well, until you consider Afrihost’s pricing

You may be familiar with Afrihost’s R29/GB pricing offer which just seems to keep going. You may even be aware of the occasional double-up offer where you can buy 2GB of Afrihost data for R29. I just noticed that Afrihost is giving a lot of data away as part of its higher end packages (granted, the service is semi-shaped if that makes much difference to you):

Afrihost DSL pricing.png

I have a 50GB package with Afrihost and we tend to use around 60GB to 70GB on heavy months. 100GB is, practically, an uncapped package for us. I could probably find some way to use 100GB if I try hard (yes, I know it is easy to use that much data on illegal data transfers, I’m talking about the legal or semi-legal stuff) but it is quite a bit of data for R950. The price will probably revert to R1 450 for 50GB in June but that is still cheaper than MWEB’s equivalent, at least for me.

So, yes, MWEB’s pricing is great news for consumers, particularly its users who have been paying its absurdly high prices in the past but it isn’t exactly revolutionary for those of us who have been Afrihost customers (and other pioneers’ customers).

Welcome to the party MWEB, what kept you?




  1. Mark Milligan avatar

    Great post. There is so much info going around about the new MWEB uncapped deals, kind of alot to take in. So what do you recommend for the average home user that has a 512 kbps line?

  2. Ashton van Schoor avatar
    Ashton van Schoor


    Any chance on clarifying the much left alone term of “shaped” service.
    Which protocols get preference and when?


  3. ales1212 avatar

    You're right about the “Seemingly” cheap ASDL offering. I found way cheaper options at my local ISP. I needed a reliable connection to the internet last year when I started a http://www.cheapstuff.com/Clothing“ rel=”nofollow”>cheap clothing company, and my best option was AOL, although it wasn't the cheapest.

  4. pauljacobson avatar

    When it comes to a business I think the best option isn't necessarily the cheapest but the option that offers the best value all round.

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