How Do You Work Without Fibre? 15 Million South Africans Do Every Day

Wed, 14/04/2021 - 12:59

Lots of South Africans now work from home, there are hundreds of thousands of formal small businesses operating in the country and they employ around 4.2 million people, yet connectivity can be one of the many challenges they face as they try to stay afloat.

Getting a reliable connection isn’t what most people want to worry about right now. We’re already afraid of so much: losing income, being retrenched, contracting Covid-19, the economic effects of load shedding, the results of state capture, and a lot more besides.

The good news is we’re one of the lucky countries to be getting a lot more fibre. It’s fast and usually effective. But the snag is that it still only reaches a fraction of the population (Digital Council Africa reports 1.6 million fibre connections). And technologies like ADSL are being phased out, mostly replaced by wireless.

So how do the majority of home workers and small businesses get reliable, fast, and affordable connectivity? How can most of us be productive, keep our jobs, keep our customers and clients, and just stay afloat? How do businesses ensure backup connectivity when there’s cable theft, when the lines are accidentally dug up, or when there’s load shedding?

We somehow have to keep the wheels of the economy turning while we try to live through this global pandemic. Wireless broadband is exploding right now. Why?

Because wireless and fixed wireless broadband are:

  • Fast like fibre and reliable.

  • But easier for the service provider to maintain and upgrade. That’s important because when there’s a newer, faster technology, you can benefit much sooner. That’s not the case with fibre because it’s time-consuming and expensive for them to dig up and replace all their cables.

  • Accessible, reaching more places and it’s quick and cost-effective to install wireless broadband.

  • Easier for new service providers to get into the market, and competition is good for service delivery.

  • Available, one tower can connect people in up to a 15km area. You have a small dish like DSTV to connect to the nearest tower. One dish can connect many people and devices.

It takes a lot to get fibre into a suburb and the companies that offer it must invest a lot of time and money. They need teams of skilled workers to dig trenches using special tools (which is how they sometimes accidentally dig up other cables). They have to connect special boxes at street corners and then still run cables into peoples’ houses and offices.

It costs a lot and it takes a long time. That’s why Telkom is replacing a lot of ADSL with wireless. It’s cheaper and much, much faster to get the job done.


Because fibre is so expensive to put in, once you get a provider in an area, there generally aren’t any competitors. They need as many customers as they can get to pay for the lines so it’s much more cost-effective for competitors to go to another area. The bad news is that if the service provider in an area is bad, you’re probably out of luck.

Not so with wireless and fixed broadband wireless. People usually have a few choices so, if one service provider lets them down, they can switch. It’s more widely available because there are fewer barriers to entry. And a single tower covers a broad area.

It’s the option most used by the majority of South Africans. Its many benefits are the reason why so many business professionals use broadband wireless to run their Teams and Zoom meetings and work online all day. You can also benefit from the advanced new wireless broadband technologies that have revolutionised the industry and delivered great services.

Find the best provider for your business requirements here