If you haven’t made the switch yet from ADSL, you might be feeling a little lost with all the options on the market.
Fibre infrastructure and development is booming in South Africa with more and more areas coming online every week and an ever-increasing pool of Internet Service Providers (ISPs). With this in mind, fibre is probably at the top of your list, and for good reason.
Fibre is relatively cheap when compared to mobile data, has the fastest speeds and can carry higher traffic volumes than most other internet connections.
However, there are a number of other access solutions like wireless internet (satellite or microwave technology) and LTE that provide similar benefits to fibre and without the cables.
A best effort, capped service that delivers internet via an LTE network to a fixed location. As the router needs to be connected to a plug-point to act as a Wi-Fi hotspot, it is often referred to as a ‘Plug and Play’ solution.
Just switch it on and you’re ready to connect. Since the router can also be moved to a different plug point/location, it can also be viewed as a mobile internet solution.
Do not confuse this with actual Mobile LTE routers which are the small, portable ones that can run on battery power but are generally not supported by ISP’s for configuration and troubleshooting. With Broadband LTE you get a true plug and play solution, where issues can be identified and resolved remotely depending on the ISP.
Broadband LTE is a very popular solution for home or business internet because it is quick to set up and priced competitively. You can be up and running in no time with an internet service at LTE speeds with the option to add-on additional services like Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) calling.
As the name suggests, this medium allows you to connect to the internet without any cables.
Using line-of sight, wireless communication technology to provide high speed internet connections (up to 200mbps), it provides stable and reliable connectivity comparable to fixed lines, and high availability for up to 32 concurrent users, however more users can be added with an additional router.
This is an effective solution for businesses that are not in fibre-ready areas or want a solution that is not dependent on fibre infrastructure. The solution is easy to set up but will require a small microwave dish to be installed on the premises.
Fibre To The Business (FTTB)
FTTB usually refers to an uncapped, unshaped internet solution with line speeds up to 200mbps. These features provide more reliability, security and consistent speeds which is important for businesses that have multiple concurrent users and need to send information in near real-time.
Some ISPs also offer their business customers a fibre connection with guaranteed up-times and service levels as well as after-sales support for network-related issues.
This is relevant for businesses that do not have or want dedicated network staff but are dependent on their fibre infrastructure to run their business.
Due to the guaranteed availability of the fibre infrastructure, prices for FTTB tend to be much higher than Fibre To The Home (FTTH). The range of additional features also adds to the overall cost of the package and differs significantly between providers based on their ability to provide these add-ons.
Achieving significant cost-savings
What’s great about these internet access solutions is that they have been designed to accommodate the demand for cloud-based applications and Internet of Things (IoT).
You can even ditch your old landline and make all your calls over the internet just like WhatsApp calling. Your business can achieve significant cost-savings on your monthly telephone bill by just switching to a VoIP or Unified Communications solution.
If you’re still not convinced that the switching off of ADSL is the best thing since, well ADSL you may want to weigh up the business cost of frequent down-times due to theft of copper lines, poor performance (due to traffic and distance from the exchange), inconsistent speeds especially during peak times and no service-level agreements.
In today’s fast-paced and unpredictable economy, Business Continuity (BC) should be your top priority.
While ADSL was the only affordable solution for stable internet a few years ago, technology has evolved drastically to the point where internet access is only limited by your business’s appetite for data. This means that choosing the right connectivity partner is more important than ever.
Providers not only guarantee excellent customer service but aim to ensure that you are always offered the best solution at the best price with access to a range of innovative add-on services to prepare your business for the 4IR and beyond.