Afrihost disrupts ADSL market with ‘free 18 hour internet’

Future expansion of the internet will be driven by more connected devices and machine to machine communication. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)
Future expansion of the internet will be driven by more connected devices and machine to machine communication. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Johannesburg - Internet service provider Afrihost has attempted to shake up the local ADSL market with a promotion that offers free daily 18 hour internet.

The promotion, which is available for monthly capped Afrihost DSL packages until November 30 2016, offers customers unlimited free internet between midnight and 6PM every day.

“Most Capped DSL packages have some form of after-hours data available, however this data is usually given at a time when most people are asleep, meaning it is seldom used,” said the company in a statement.

“With our free-time, however, monthly capped DSL products will now get unlimited free internet between midnight and 6PM every day! This means that you’ll only use your normal data cap between 6PM and midnight, essentially giving you free unlimited internet for 18 hours of the day,” added Afrihost.

Split from MTN

The move by Afrihost to shake up the ADSL market comes amid its ‘divorce’ with MTN.

In June, local mobile network MTN said it plans to dispose of its 50.02% shareholding in internet service provider Afrihost.

MTN acquired its stake in Afrihost in 2014 for R408m in a bid to expand its internet service offerings.

But the deal took a turn last year amid murmurings from MTN South Africa that it did not want to keep providing data to Afrihost at below cost.

Amid the MTN purchase, Afrihost also experienced network service problems with the Internet Service Providers’ Association (ISPA) having ruled last year that Afrihost advertised services beyond its technical capabilities.

In a letter to clients on Wednesday, Afrihost CEO Gian Visser said moves were in place to buy back the shares from MTN.

"I just wanted to personally let you know that we are buying back all the shares that MTN own in Afrihost. My fellow directors and I (together with some of our friends and family) are in the process of buying the 50.02% shareholding that MTN currently own,” said Visser.

"I am humbled (and honoured) by the trust you have placed in us and will do everything in my power to ensure your trust is well rewarded. I'd also like to take this opportunity to thank MTN for the many miles they have run with us over the past few years. We have learnt a lot and we wish them all the absolute best in the future," he added.

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