Fibre in SA is set for a new contender! Vumatel’s Vuma Reach fibre project in Mitchell’s Plain has far exceeded all targets, boding well for fibre rollouts across South Africa.
The Vuma Reach project originated from the need for reliable internet access in lower-income areas. The trial for the Vuma Reach fibre concept started back in 2019 in Mitchell’s Plain to see if the offer of fibre-to-the-home services would be financially viable.
Community Investment Ventures Holdings (CIVH), which owns Vumatel, chairman Pieter Uys said that when they started the project in Mitchells Plain, the aim was to simply reach 30% penetration in the first year in order for the business plan to be deemed successful.
They easily exceeded their targets and with only the first four zones in Mitchell’s Plain, they achieved 60% penetration in less than a year.
In fact, in some zones, 60% connected homes was achieved between 250 and 300 days, Uys said.
Part of the project was launching a prepaid platform as traditional fibre price points and locked-in contracts would not be feasible in these lower-income areas. Through the prepaid platform residents can purchase a token giving them uncapped, unlimited Internet access for 28 days.
The project has been so successful that CIVH is very positive about its potential.
Many families in lower-income areas are forced to make use of costly mobile data to access the Internet, which is depending on signal strength and not the most reliable way to connect to the Internet. Fibre-to-the-home is obviously a lot more reliable and provides a far better and more affordable experience.
“We believe that all communities, throughout the country, can and should have access to high speed, reliable connectivity,” Vumatel said.
“Our Vuma Reach solution makes this possible through its fixed-line speed and competitive price point, which means we can get more people online and connected to the global village.”
Since starting this project Vumatel has rolled out Vuma Reach in Grassy Park, Retreat, Blue Downs and Mitchell’s Plain in the Western Cape, Vosloorus in Ekurhuleni, and Soweto in Johannesburg. The Vuma Reach network has now surpassed more than 100,000 homes in these areas combined.
The company’s strategy remains focussed on delivering reliable, high-speed connectivity to as many homes and neighbourhoods as they’re able to.