MWEB upgrades SA users

2011-05-25 12:21

Cape Town - MWEB has announced that all its customers on 512kbps will be upgraded to a 1Mbps at no additional cost.

"For us it's really been predominantly about trying to get the end consumer a better overall internet experience, and we've seen based on our customer base and the market that a lot of customers are still stuck on 384 and 512[kbps]," Rihana Hoosain the Head of Products at MWEB, told News24.

Users will pay not for the upgrade and MWEB said that this would be another step to facilitate better consumption of rich media on the internet in SA.

"With Telkom upgrading the lines, we thought it was a good opportunity for us to also upgrade our customers at no extra cost so that their overall internet experience when they're doing rich media, you know VoIP [voice over IP] calls, using YouTube would definitely be much better because they're getting double the speed at no additional cost," said Hoosain.

Telkom has been criticised in the past for not responding to the needs of the internet market in SA because of the "last mile" monopoly it has, but Hoosain said that this was a good "gesture", if not direction by the state telecom.


"Look it's debatable, I mean we were anticipating this move from 512 to one meg, so it's definitely a good gesture from Telkom's part to say: 'Look we are looking at the overall perspective and we are trying to get real broadband speed to the end consumers.'

"But other than the upgrades to the 10Mbps, the bulk of the ADSL subscriber base out there is not really that much better off."

IN SA though, wireless devices  are mainly used to access the internet because of the lack of infrastructure and cost. MWEB conceded that this would remain an obstacle.

"With the current set-up for the infrastructure for the fixed line service, there definitely is an obstacle in our way and obviously the wireless operators are encroaching on that," Hoosain said.

She added that MWEB's focus would be the quality of its service over wireless.

"For the most part, they are speaking to the market share that aren't able to access fixed services, so we do see the wireless services playing quite a critical role in the broadband market, but to sort of compensate for that it's really important that the quality of our fixed line services that we do deliver to customers is improving consistently."

In particularly rural areas, the lack of cable broadband limits the provision of internet, but Hoosain hinted that there are plans to change the situation.


"The reach of the fixed line infrastructure in outer lying areas, there just isn't copper there, so can't actually provide ASDL service.

"But I do foresee more innovative technologies coming out of the ISP space to try and combat that. Obviously, the wireless market is really advancing in that area because they are able to provide internet services there," she said.

MWEB is prepared to absorb all costs associated with the upgrade as it is expected that users will double their internet consumption.

"If there are any additional costs that's borne by MWEB it's something that we're willing to do because we really are committed to improving the overall broadband experience for our consumers," Hoosain said.

Still, until Telkom provides a universal cable broadband service, many South Africans who would like to access the full web experience will have to wait or use wireless in the meantime.

"Until we see massive advances on that side, we're basically playing to Telkom's tune," said Hoosain.

- Uncapped Data-only 1Mbps ADSL will retail for R299 per month, and
- Uncapped All-inclusive 1Mbps ADSL (with ADSL line rental) will retail for R599 per month.

News24 is part of, a subsidiary of Media24, which is in the Naspers stable. MWEB is a subsidiary of Naspers.

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  • chingon - 2011-05-25 12:38

    Huh !! Telkom upgraded the 512 service to 1 meg about a month ago and it was free.

      Jacques le Roux - 2011-05-25 13:08

      You forget, News24 and MWEB are sister companies, this is not news, just marketing.

      Capt. Murphy - 2011-05-25 14:04

      Same here, I'm with cybersmart and my line has also been upgraded from 512kb to 1mb since the beginning of this month, no extra charge, no notifications nothing, it just happened, DSL line went dead for an hour or so and when it came back on... woooosh! much lower ping on online games, 120kbps download speed and youtube videos play in real-time "no buffering"!

      mweb.guy - 2011-05-25 16:16

      Hi, Please remember that when you are on an uncapped product you costs depend on what line speed you wish to draw data at. By us upgrading you from 512Kbps to 1Mbps, means you can now access more data than before. We are not charging you for this extra data.

      Capt. Murphy - 2011-05-25 18:12

      @mweb.guy, I think the point chingon, Jacques and myself is trying to make here is that most other major ISP's have upgraded their costumers automatically and even without notifying them, yet you're the only ones gloating about it even whilst the costumer will still have shaped data and you're one of the slowest ISP's in SA...

      Martin - 2011-05-27 11:11

      @Capt. Murphy. It's probably just semantics, but I guess you mean download speeds of 120kBps, as there is a three orders of magnitude difference. I am also with Cybersmart (for nearly five years now), but still stuck on a 384kbps line with 10Gb monthly cap. Methinks it may be time for a new service provider!

  • pop101 - 2011-05-25 12:39

    SERIOUS......HOOOOOORAY, when...I think I just popped a semi.

  • Lestor - 2011-05-25 12:44

    The question is will we ever get that speed? My internet seems to run at about half what is promised most of the time.

  • Badballie - 2011-05-25 12:45

    still about 6.7Mbps slower than the accepted international standard. Lets rejoice in 20 years when we catch up to where the rest of the world is now.

  • pop101 - 2011-05-25 12:50

    1 June it says....

  • The Spear - 2011-05-25 12:57

    I have a 8mbps line with unlimited usage for R500/month here in the UAE.

      CTheB - 2011-05-25 13:28

      Well done, spear, your penis is really huge.

  • rono - 2011-05-25 13:13

    Rihana Hoosain is pretty hot!

  • PablodelaKroes - 2011-05-25 13:26

    WTF about 384kb/s users, you ninny's!!!!

      mweb.guy - 2011-05-25 16:17

      You can upgrade from 384Kbps to 1Mbps for an extra R80 p/m but remember Telkom will also charge you extra for your line speeds. You can also get an all inclusive package from us at R599 for 1Mbps

      NO-BULL - 2011-05-26 09:16

      What is the cap on the 1Mb uncapped package? I know the 384k uncapped gives you 5G per 10 days before you are unable to do a google search in under 5 minutes. The 512k uncapped caps you at 10G. Does this mean the 1M uncapped caps you at 20G per 10 days or is it more restrictive than that?

  • CTheB - 2011-05-25 13:27

    Hmmm...suddenly I'm thinking I must investigate MWeb's offerings. Telkom haven't changed their line prices for a long time and were, last time I checked, still charging stupid amounts for even a 512kbps line, which is why I'm still on 384kbps.

  • TheNwsReader - 2011-05-25 13:29

    About time. We are way behind compared to the rest of the developed world.

  • Craig - 2011-05-25 13:31

    So what about the people with a 384 line. Do they stay where they are?

      pop101 - 2011-05-25 14:35

      Yes, what about....hey wait....I'm in the 1mbps group now.....suffer baby suffer. Lol. No, only kidding. I'm pretty sure you guys will be upgraded soon, as speed per cost wise you are the most over billed group now.

      Craig - 2011-05-25 14:45

      I actually dont think they will do anything to the 384's. Cause now its worth more just to upgrade to the 1mb line. So for business, they will leave me until i cross over to where theres more money for them. Buggers :p

  • Langtand - 2011-05-25 13:32


  • Gareth - 2011-05-25 13:34

    yes,what about the 384kbps people?

  • Gareth - 2011-05-25 13:35

    yes,what about the 384 people,when will we see a change? but its good to be with Mweb,thumbs up.

  • mweb.guy - 2011-05-25 16:19

    If you have any questions with regards to this upgrade or with regards to 384Kbps, please come chat with me on Facebook or twitter @Mwebguy Happy to help :-)

  • MDK - 2011-05-25 16:21

    Screw MWEB and screw Telkom. As if they're doing us a favour? Just wonder ho many users they'll be adding to a line. Pathetic....MWEB blows.

  • Ivym - 2011-05-25 17:42

    "MWEB has announced that all its customers on 512kbps will be upgraded to a 1Mbps at no additional cost." K@K story. I have just received an mweb notification saying that it will cost R80 rand extra a month as quoted below. Screw Hossain and the mweb team - getting just like DSTV - greedy. More than double the speed* for only R80 extra per month. Dear MWEB Customer Upgrade to a 1Mbps Uncapped ADSL account and you could more than double your speed*, for only R80 extra per month. This means faster* upload and download speeds, so no more waiting for your favourite music tracks or movies to download. Enjoy a faster internet with MWEB’s 1Mbps Uncapped ADSL, for R299** incl. VAT per month. Call MWEB on 08600 32000 if you’d like to find out more. Kind regards, The MWEB Team

      pop101 - 2011-05-25 18:04

      You are probably on 384kbps...maybe they are PROPOSING that you upgrade to 1mbps, since it makes more sense speed vs cost wise.

  • Huey Freeman - 2011-05-25 18:46

    It would be nice if I had the option of getting off my 384 line. Perhaps Telkom is yet to upgrade my area.

      chingon - 2011-05-25 21:14

      there should be no problem to upgrade from a 384, what did they tell you ?

  • Sam - 2011-05-25 19:57

    Maybe MWEB should invest money in upgrading their lines, as too avoid problems connecting to the internet.Network cables are always down, so they say. Their services are unprofessional they are constantly blaming Telkom for having problems connecting net.

  • rossco - 2011-05-25 23:55

    I have looked around the Telkom website and I cannot find any information about any upgrades from 512kbs to 1mbs. They are still quoting for a 512 kbs line for R326 on their products page. Why have they not upgraded this info to 1mbs instead of an apparently now a nonexistent 512 kbs line. I don't trust them. I want to see this upgrade info in writing. I don't want to upgrade my mweb account and later find out the only way to access it is to upgrade my Telkom account to 4mbs line. Then I will be angry

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