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MTN launches fibre brand

MTN has launched a new fibre to the home offering under the brand name süpersonic, acting as an independently run company.

Going live on now, the service is based on what the company calls a commitment to “delivering the best customer experience in a fibre market still being held back by a general lack of service delivery and customer satisfaction”.

“Complaints of too much complexity, network instability and poor after-sales services continue to plague the fibre industry and we aim to change that,” says supersonic CEO, Calvin Collett. “Our focus is on meeting customer needs and expectations by using skilled technicians trained by us, innovative user-friendly apps and before and after-sale service expertise and channels to ensure customers receive speedy service off the back of the country’s fastest and most stable network.”

According to MTN SA CEO Godfrey Motsa, improved digital access is the future of unlocking the full potential of the local economy.

“Our commitment is to deliver high-quality end-to-end solutions that connect more people and businesses and this exciting new initiative is one more important step in that direction,” he says.

“We are excited to be able to harness a fresh, invigorated fibre offering within our open access network model to deliver an uncapped, reliable and cost-effective solution to many more homes across the country. We look forward to seeing this expanded to entrepreneurs and businesses next year. Of course, it is essential the solution always meets the high standards of customer-centric support and service we are known for.”

süpersonic’s focus is on consumers this year and then next year to make a wholesale offering available to businesses. MTN’s fixed-line LTE solution will still be made available to those in areas where fibre may not yet be available.

MTN bought SmartVillage from Multichoice in late 2015 to make inroads in the fibre to the home (FTTH) market. The fibre business has been placed under new management, rebranded as süpersonic, and has a new and more efficient operational structure. süpersonic has its own executive team, employing 120 people, of which 25 are trained technicians.

“It has taken five months for us to solidify our business structure to ensure we can do things differently and add more value to the lives of consumers” says Collett. “We are focusing on the main metros first, but will be expanding this further and, where we can’t deliver a service, we will also assist in providing access to MTN’s fixed-line LTE service.”

To differentiate itself from the ISPs already existing in the SA market, the new proposition is hinged on simplicity, reliability, stability and agility. A simple, web-based, five-step sign-up process is followed by the guarantee of a call-back in under 30 minutes.

The süpersonic installation and full configuration at home can take as little as four days – but within a minimum of 14 days – and trained technicians provide a full turnkey solution. They configure all facets of the system, on premise, and ensure it is working and connected to all the required apps in the home before they leave.

“Life is complex, but fibre shouldn’t be,” says Collett. “The lack of good service has been one of the main bugbears with FTTH generally and we intend plugging that gap. On top of that, our major competitive advantage is we harness the stable, reliable and powerful MTN network. While speed is ubiquitous in the fibre space the true differentiator comes with service and the stability and reliability of the network.”

A customisable user app includes a dashboard which ensures users can track important details along with their service line, including where their technician is and how long it will take to arrive.

All the fibre options are uncapped, with an initial price point from R658.

“In our view, fibre should not have any limitation in terms of capacity so our solution is uncapped with no shaping,” says Collett. “Fibre, of course, is already much faster than traditional copper-based lines and is free from the risks of damage caused by rain, or theft. We believe our solution will ensure more people can benefit and we plan to become the number one ISP in the country in 5 years.”

MTN will allow other ISPs, with valid electronic communications services licences, to integrate the services they provide to end-users.

süpersonic has an initial target of connecting 25% of the fibre market – which comprises 800,000 homes but is projected to pass as many as 2.2m by 2022.

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