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MWEB goes wireless

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Following hot on the heels of its recent uncapped ADSL offering, MWEB has announced the launch of its own self-provisioned wireless network. This network is said to offer uncapped wireless access for businesses in the greater Johannesburg and Cape Town.
While the industry waits for details on the issuing of WiMAX spectrum, MWEB has already built base stations covering Sandton, Boksburg, Isando (Kempton Park) and Midrand in Johannesburg; and N1 City and the Cape Town CBD in Cape Town. This footprint will be expanded on an ongoing basis throughout the year. The network will utilize open unlicenced spectrum bands and using Alvarion wireless equipment, will broadcast signal in a 5km radius of the base stations.

Eugene van der Westhuizen, General Manager of New Business Projects at MWEB said that MWEB was very excited about provisioning its own commercial network for the first time. “With our ECNS licence awarded last year, it is exciting to finally be able to offer Internet access products where we own, manage, service and maintain every aspect of the network and the client interaction,” he said. “We learnt a lot about managing a network during our successful WiMAX trial in 2007, and while we wait for the next steps in the awarding of WiMAX spectrum licences, we are pleased to be offering our own commercial product for the first time.”

Ideally suited to small and medium-sized businesses as an alternative to uncapped ADSL, the product, to be called Uncapped Wireless, will suit customers that are hampered by a lack of ADSL capacity in their area, or who have been inconvenienced by the theft of copper cables – a particular problem in the east of Johannesburg. Uncapped Wireless is also a true failover option for customers wanting redundancy, without the traditional high costs associated with wireless failover.

Bernard Kur, Head of Product Management and Development at MWEB Business said that three options will be offered  – 512kbps 1024kbps and 4096kbps. “All offerings are uncapped and unshaped for a fixed monthly fee, which includes the cost of the router and wireless hardware needed. The fixed fee will allow businesses to budget accurately, with no need to buy boosters during the month,” he said.

“MWEB Business is the first in the market to offer an uncapped unshaped 4096kbps wireless offering,” said Kur. “Uncapped Wireless will be suitable either as a primary connection or as a fail-over to traditional uncapped ADSL or leased lines. Customers will also be able view usage graphs as well as receive notifications should the link go down.”

In order to ensure optimal signal strength before installation, MWEB will conduct site inspections at clients’ premises to determine the quality of signal that can be received – at no additional cost to the customer. Once it has been determined that a client can get good quality signal, a small antenna will be installed at the customer’s premises to receive the wireless signal.

Pricing for MWEB’s Uncapped Wireless product:

Uncapped Wireless 512k  – R 1299
Uncapped Wireless 1024k – R 1999
Uncapped Wireless 4096k – R 2795

Once-off installation costs Including VAT – R 1 710.00

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