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MWEB launches VDSL



MWEB has launched six new connectivity products that take advantage of the introduction of VDSL (Very-High-Bit-Rate Digital Subscriber Line) technology in South Africa.

The new products, designed to cater for the different connectivity requirements of large and small businesses as well as consumers, deliver exceptionally high speed connections.

‚”VDSL is like ADSL on steroids only faster. It’s up to four times faster than the fastest ADSL currently available,‚” says MWEB ISP CEO Derek Hershaw.

According to Hershaw, while LTE may offer higher burst speeds and Fibre may deliver greater long-term reliability, VDSL is the way to go for users that have high-traffic-high-speed requirements.

MWEB’s new VDSL offerings* include (all prices include VAT):

¬∑ MWEB Business Uncapped VDSL – 20Mbps and MWEB Business Uncapped VDSL – 40Mbps. These premium unshaped and unthrottled services are characterised by unrivalled network performance and reliability, 24×7 support and static IP addresses. These products also come with several value added services such as a 2GB mailbox, 300MB wifi and a 5GB Store-It account. A business class VDSL router is included in the price of R5,799 and R10,699 respectively per month.

¬∑ MWEB Business Uncapped VDSL Lite – 20Mbps and MWEB Business Uncapped VDSL Lite – 40Mbps. These shaped for business products are perfectly suited for businesses that demand the best possible connectivity speeds for typical business applications such as browsing, email and VoIP/voice. While this product does not come with any static IP addresses, it does include 24×7 support, a 2GB mailbox, 300MB wifi, 5GB Store-It account and a business class router in the monthly charges of R3,799 and R5,799 respectively.

· MWEB VDSL Р20Mbps and MWEB VDSL Р40Mbps are designed to meet the needs of consumers and Small Office-Home Office (SOHO) users who require a high speed broadband connection with no restrictions on data usage. These high speed, shaped uncapped products come with several value added services including a 2GB mailbox, 300MB wifi, 5GB Store-It and a fax mail account. The MWEB uncapped VDSL-20Mbps product is available at R2,299 and THE the VDSL 40Mbps product at R3,999.

However, Hershaw cautions that VDSL is currently available in only a handful of areas in Gauteng, the Western Cape and KwaZulu Natal.

Whether a potential VDSL subscriber is able to get the service will depend on how far their premises are from a Telkom street distribution cabinet (SDC), and whether that SDC has been upgraded to a multi-service access node (MSAN).

‚”MWEB is following the roll-out of MSANs closely. As soon as the Telkom infrastructure upgrade is complete, we will make our VDSL products available to our customers in that area,‚” Hershaw concludes.

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Telcos want one face



The investments that telecommunications service providers are making in reshaping their online properties into customer-centric portals reflects the growing maturity of self-service and Internet uptake in the industry, says KEVIN MELTZER of Consology.

Many telcos around the world are overhauling their websites to offer customers more holistic portals that give them a single point of entry into the organisation.

They are doing so because they recognise that service will be a key point of differentiation for their businesses in a market that is becoming increasingly competitive. They have also realised that they have a major opportunity to shift customers away from expensive contact centres towards low-cost electronic channels.

In the past, most telecommunications operators ran multiple sites across multiple domains and subdomains. These web-based properties were built around the way that telcos structured their own businesses rather than around the needs of the customer. But we are now seeing the leading operators take a more user-centric approach to the way that they design their web and mobile sites.

This coincides with a change in the industry from slicing customers into numerous segments and then serving them across a range of functional and product areas. For example, many operators split customers into prepaid and postpaid segments or voice and data users, distinctions that are becoming less meaningful in a world of technology convergence. They now want to present a single face to the customer rather than servicing the subscriber through silos.

These changes are starting to percolate through to operators’ customer service and sales strategies. Telcos are starting to pull together disparate products and services that once resided across multiple sites into customer service portals.

These sites put a wide range of information at the subscriber’s fingertips, he adds. Increasingly, for example, subscribers can log directly into their accounts from the operator’s homepage and then access a wealth of services and information. This marks an evolution from the fractured and inconsistent customer experience of the past.

Leading operators are even thinking about how their Self-Service platforms should be integrated with social media strategies to allow customers to pay their electronic bills or top up airtime with a single click from within a social network.

Whereas Self-Service portals on telco sites were once purely about account management functions, they increasingly offer far richer functionality. In addition to allowing subscribers to pay their bills and check their account information, they are also increasingly becoming the first stop for service and commerce.

Operators have started to recognise that splintering their e-commerce, service and account management functions simply makes no sense. Customers want to be able to do everything through one interface rather than needing to visit two or three Web sites, or eventually possibly needing to phone a call centre or visit a store for certain transactions.

Integrated and easy to use online customer service channels will be central for telco operators who want to be competitive in the markets of tomorrow. They form an advantage in an industry where it will be customer relationships rather than cost or service that drive loyalty and purchasing decisions.


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Talk for less with MWEB Talk



Today, MWEB announced its consumer VoIP package called MWEB Talk, which allows users to make free network calls and get discounted rates made to landlines and mobile phones.

MWEB, today launched its new Voice over IP (VoIP) offering to South African consumers. The service, MWEB Talk, will offer users’ free on network calls to fellow MWEB Talk users’ and cheap calls to landline and mobile phone numbers. This follows the success and demand of the ISP’s existing VoIP products in recent months.

‚”We have seen a noticeable transformation in users’ Internet behaviour with consumers wanting services that complement their ADSL connectivity solution. We have seen phenomenal growth and by the end of the year will deliver over 100 million minutes on our VoIP platform,‚” says Carolyn Holgate, General Manager of MWEB Connect, the ISP’s Consumer and Small Office/ Home Office Division.

MWEB has made significant investments in its infrastructure and VoIP has been prioritised on its network to ensure performance and stability of the MWEB Talk service for both businesses and consumers.

‚”In addition to the high quality of the service, MWEB Talk is also simple to set-up and users’ should experience a significant reduction in their telephone bills. By implementing a VoIP service consumers and small businesses can cut their monthly telecommunication bills by up to 55% to landline and mobile numbers,‚” says Holgate.

With no subscription fee, existing MWEB customers can log into their MWEB account, register for the service and download the application for PC and Mac as well as mobile applications that turn an iPhone, Android, and Nokia smartphone into a VoIP phone. Customers will also be able to purchase a Desktop VoIP Handset for R99 which will be HD voice ready and will support multi-extensions.

‚”We believe that VoIP is the future of telephony in South Africa and we are extremely excited to see the consumer market shift into the VoIP space,‚” concludes Holgate.


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