The state of technology in SA and how it affects the consumer
Before one opts for a particular solution, it is important to understand the technology sector, its player’s products and service in the market as well as the modern day requirements of consumers.
There are only two mediums of connectivity, namely Copper/DSL Technology and Optic Fibre Technology:
|Outdated technology||Futureproof technology|
|Outdated copper network||Superior fibre network|
|Slower speeds||Higher speeds|
|Uncapped available||Uncapped internet|
|High contention (line divided by many users)||Low contention (line divided by significantly fewer users)|
|Unstable line||Stable line|
|Susceptible to theft/breaks||Not susceptible to theft|
|Weather damage issues||Weather damage resistant|
|Call centre contact||Single point of contact|
|Poor service history||Dedicated personal service*|
|Players include: Telkom, MWEB, Afrihost etc.||Players include: Neotel, AReS Africa, VOX etc.|
|Simply put: You are choosing to be 1 of 15 000+ vehicles congested in Fourways, queuing in permanent traffic to get to your destination.||Simply put: You are choosing to be a jet in clear skies ,free flowing and only limited to as fast as you can handle.|
*A dedicated AReS Africa after sales consultant is allocated to each gated community.
Predominantly, the market packages a mix of services with various service providers:
- that deplete your negotiating power as each subscriber stands alone across different products,
- where landlines are made compulsory in your subscription that you don’t use,
- where a mix of copper and fibre are used to enable ADSL/VDSL Fibre to be marketed,
- where smaller players piggy back off the larger network’s copper/fibre infrastructure ultimately not giving the end consumer a true fibre optic experience,
- Contend the service 100+ fold to achieve economies of scale and larger profits at the expense of the consumer experiencing unstable up and down speeds,
- That may lack transparent pricing that results in a whopper of a bill at month end,
- Where service delivery may not be a priority leaving the consumer holding onto a call centre before waiting 2-3 weeks for a technician to attend to the issue.
In a world, where fibre technology exists street to street in New York; with fixed call lines dying a quick death as free data calls through WhatsApp and Facetime takeover; where our future children will not know what a fax is with the now scan to e-mail, it all begs one simple question: Why do we pay and continue to invest our money in out of date slow technology that does not meet expectations of a modern society?
Players in the market predominantly offer a funded solution to consumers. Let us look at the considerations of a funded solution vs. buyout solution:
|Funded Internet Infrastructure Solution||Buyout Internet Infrastructure Solution|
|Definition: An internet service provider that will provide the initial investment to fund the internet solution for a particular return on investment.The downside is there are increased monthly fees, and the ultimate control of the internal network sits with the service provider.||Definition: Your complex purchases outright the physical internal network infrastructure and holds ownership thereof, thereby removing the maintenance cost and capital cost from the monthly fees.There is still a Service Level Agreement in place to maintain the internal network with a Service Provider that is in the complex’s control. Costs associated with potential damage are for the complex’s account.|
|Service providers will fund the network infrastructure and build capital and maintenance costs into the monthly price.||Internal network is owned by the complex which removes the capital cost from their residents’ monthly subscriptions and enables savings in the longer term.|
|Consumers pay increased monthly costs.||Consumers benefit from reduced monthly costs.|
|Consumers pay increased monthly subscriptions to cover services, maintenance and capital costs.||Consumers only pay for services in monthly subscriptions to cover their usage.|
|Consumers realise reduced property appreciation as amenities cost the end consumer more.||Consumers boast a network that belongs to the complex and able to benefit from appreciated property value as a result of state of the art amenities within the complex costing the end consumer less.|
From the above comparison, it can be seen why complexes in a good financial position opt to buyout their internal infrastructure network.
What are some of the things we as consumers do not consider?
- How many people are we sharing our line with?
- Yes we know it’s the norm that the speeds we actually receive are vastly different to what is quoted. But why have we accepted this?
- In the year 2015, why is fibre services so expensive when it is freely available in first world countries?
- Why are we forced to take out a phone line, if we don’t use/need it?
- Why do we as paying consumers subject ourselves to poor service delivery and wait weeks for assistance?
AReS Africa believes that the current activities in the telecommunications market are not in the best interest of consumers. And with that the company engaged with its consumers to determine what people need and want. After much hard work, AReS Africa is proud to be one of the very few companies providing a lifestyle fibre solution by the people for the people.