süpersonic, an independently run company, 100% owned by SA’s network operator MTN has announced the launch of a new fibre to the home offering which will be available on September 3, 2018.
“Complaints of too much complexity, network instability and poor after-sales services continue to plague the fibre industry and we aim to change that. 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,” says supersonic CEO, Calvin Collett.
MTN, which is focused on providing service for its 31 million customers in SA, has been rated independently as having the fastest mobile network with the best download speeds in the country.
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,” says Motsa.
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 totally new and more efficient operational structure. süpersonic has its own executive team, it employs 120 people, of which 25 are fully 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. 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,” says Collett.
To differentiate itself from the 47 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 system is currently working at call-back rates of as little as 15 minutes.
In another industry first, crucial assistance is provided on which customisable package to choose from. Currently, users in the market are left to pick and choose among thousands of offerings being promoted online but often make the wrong choices. The entire 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 whereby they configure all facets of the system 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. 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,” says Collett.
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 for him to arrive – a bit like the popular Uber app works.
“Everything we have designed is with the consumer in mind and we continue to innovate to make the lives of users even easier, so they can enjoy the internet as it should be. We are welcoming them to a world of fibre made easy,” says Collett.
Another key differentiator is all the fibre options are uncapped – yet the initial price point from R658 is very competitive.
“In our view, fibre should not have any limitation in terms of capacity so our solution is uncapped with no shaping. 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,” says Collett.
MTN, which is the only telecommunications company offering an uncapped-only fibre solution together with an open source network, offers a flexible platform that will allow any ISP with a valid electronic communications services licence, and which has signed an agreement with MTN, to integrate the services they provide to end-users.
“Our commitment is to ensure more people can benefit from the digital life. We generate wholesale revenue by letting ISPs come onto our network, while it provides us with a new revenue stream,” concludes Motsa.
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.