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New Fixed Line Operator Available in South Africa.

Feb25

Written by:
2009/02/25 08:53 AM RssIcon

We have been complaining about Telkom for a while. Just look at the blogsphere and you will see tons of post regarding Telkom. Neotel promised to inject some serious competition. But they are not yet available everywhere. But two operators is hardly enough competition. Enter O-Tel, the new fixed line operator in South Africa.

Well we certainly can do with some new competition. With the tariffs and bad service of Telkom, many are frustrated beyond belief. Just this month we have had no Telephone for three weeks. every time we phone Telkom, they say they are sending out a technician. But nothing happens. Its pointless complaining and blogging about it, because most of us can't do a thing about it. What are we going to say, uh were going to move our account. Yeah right, where to, is Telkom's answer.

But Neotel and O-Tel are hoping to change that. O-Tel promises business and residential subscribers tariffs as affordable as 45 cents (excl VAT) per minute for local calls to Telkom numbers, true per second billing from the first second (international calls are billed per minute), a 24-hour turnaround time, both telephone and Internet connections and nationwide coverage.

"O-Tel can provide anyone within Telkom ADSL or Vodacom 3G coverage with a telephone line for R99 (excl VAT) per month with no contract necessary," said Mohammad Patel, CEO of O-Tel.

Sounds impressive doesn't it. Well I had to check them out. I visited their website at http://www.otelafrica.com. The first thing you see at their site is the big menu/banner at the top. A little too much, but thats me, a web developer speaking. But the more important thing, is the notice that O-Tel is not accepting Home applications. They say that they are overwhelmed with applications, and that they are attending to business applications first. Understandable but disappointing.

The other thing about their site is that it is not quite complete. Browsing around for a few minutes I find certain pages where they are not finished and the products that they offer are not there. Check out the page http://www.otelafrica.com/index.php?cPath=49_51_55.

But I am not here to criticise their web page, that's for another blog. I am mainly interested in their services, especially their pricing structure. Being a web developer, my main interest is internet connectivity, bandwidth and prices surrounding that. Going to their connection product pages, I see that they offer lowest bandwidth costs, lowest rates, not contracts, etc etc.

But going to their full DSL package for home use page, http://www.otelafrica.com/index.php?cPath=8_15_19, I find a different picture. Their 1gb caped ADSL package is R399pm. There 3gb capped ADSL package is R519pm. My question. What the? Cheapest, no way.

Currently I am paying just over R450pm for a 3gb Telkom line, which includes line rental, ISP and ADSL. Sorry to say, no competition at all. By the way, we still have capped internet. I feel that as soon as a operator enters into this country offering uncapped internet access, they will draw away 80-90 percent of the current Telkom users.

These guys, to me, are not competition, they are just another shark looking to milk South Africans dry of their hard earned money. It's all talk and no action. Sorry to say, but I am not impressed, and will not move over too soon. Well maybe not. If their service is better than Telkom I might. But that's also debatable.

Why do I say that, well because O=Tel's whole infrastructure is on top of Telkom's current infrastructure, which means we still have to deal with Telkom when we have line faults. So what's the point? All O-Tel is going to do is pass the buck when problems arise, and we still sit with bad Telkom service.

What are your thoughts? Do you think O-tel is a good move? Are you looking to move away from Telkom?

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