Telecom companies

5 of The Best South African Telecom/Fibre Companies & Why

If you’re reading this, chances are that you’re looking around; doing your homework as to Fibre packages in South Africa and which telecom or Fibre company is going to best fit your business needs.

Never choose a provider without finding out certain “secret” information, because it is the lesser known details that leave clues as to which provider is likely to give you what you need, with the least amount of frustration. Besides, your internet connection, internet speed and technical support and service is not something you want to mess around with.

Here’s a simple guide as to 5 of the best SA telecom or Fibre companies and why; it will show you what to look for in an ISP.

Telecoms vs. ISPs

Firsty, what is the difference between a telecoms company and an ISP (Internet Service Provider)?

The difference between an ISP and a telecoms company is that the former provides internet services while the latter provides internet services together with all other traditional telephony services like voice, fax, sms, leased lines, Fibre, wireless connectivity, etc.

A telecoms company usually supplies to ISPs. However, since leased lines are being replaced by internet lines, telecoms are becoming more like ISP’s.   

At the moment though, telecoms companies usually supply the networks to ISPs, because they are tier 1 companies (like BitCo), while ISPs are usually on tier 3. More on tiers and their importance in a bit…

5 of the best Telecom/Fibre companies

5 of some of the best Fibre companies in South Africa (some are telecoms and some ISPs) – voted for by users for service and product, include:

  1. BitCo
  2. Cool Ideas
  3. Seacom
  4. Frogfoot
  5. Axxess

Now, what would be the point of listing some of South Africa’s best Fibre providers if we didn’t explain what makes them “best”, so let’s dive into that:

What makes these companies some of the best?

Before we push into some of the primary qualities most of these 5 Fibre companies share, please note that some of them may not share all of the same elements:

Tier 1 Fibre companies

Tier 1 companies are the backbone of the internet, and in South Africa, there is only a handful.

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Image Credit: Datapath.io

BitCo and Seacom are examples of tier 1 companies.

Here’s why tiers matter:

Tier 1 companies usually supply the network to an ISP, who is either a tier 2 or 3.

Tier 2 ISP’s usually connects between tier 1’s and 3’s, through peering agreements. A tier 3 company purchases transit services from tier 1’s and is the last mile provider.

A company who is a tier 1 has better Fibre coverage; a regional tier 1 has access to the entire internet routing table because of peering relationships.  This means faster and more reliable speeds.

They also have lower latency and because they have better control over routing, their uptime tends to be a lot better, which means their customer’s uptime is better. Tier 1’s can usually guarantee operational uptime while other tiers can’t.

Because they have control over their infrastructure, they are able to provide superior service because they do not need to rely on 3rd parties.

Manages own products

When a Fibre company manages their own products and infrastructure, they deliver better service experiences because they are not dependent on the service 3rd parties.

Stable companies

When telecom companies or ISPs have been in practice longer than others, and are stable and well established, they have already had their teething problems and are now experts at what they do. Of course, you benefit from their expertise.

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Network quality

Best ISPs employ a QoS (Quality of Service) which dictates the quality of service they provide from start to end. Now, when an ISP does not own their own network, they cannot have a QoS because they don’t manage the entire process; instead, they are dependent on 3rd parties. This most often negatively affects quality.

Quality hardware

The quality of hardware (like routers) that Fibre suppliers use also impacts the quality of the end-user experience in terms of speed and stability.

Service and support

The best suppliers provide the best services to their clients. They have their own technical teams, again to avoid delays to the customer, and they have SLA’s in place, and the QoS (Quality of Service) to ensure a smooth process end-to-end.

Top ISP/Telecom comparison guide

Company ISP or Telecom? Tier Own Network? Years Established? Provides business Fibre?
BitCo Telecom 1 Yes 12 years Yes
Cool Ideas ISP 1 Yes 7 years Yes
Seacom Telecom 1 Yes 9 years Yes
Frogfoot Telecom 1 Yes 15 years Yes
Axxess Telecom 1 Yes 21 years No

Business Fibre packages comparison

Some business Fibre packages are dependent on an area; you would have to choose which network to go with based on location; this is true of Cool Ideas, Axxess and Frogfoot.

Company Mbps Uncapped Uncontended Synchronous Guaranteed Uptime
BitCo From 10Mbps – 1Gbps All packages All packages All packages 99%
Cool Ideas Location dependant: From 5Mbps – 100Mbps Yes No Yes Unknown
Seacom Up to 1Gbps Yes Yes Yes 99%
Frogfoot Location dependent: From 10Mbps – 1 Gbps Yes No (low to no contention ratio) Yes Unknown
Axxess (FTTH) Location dependent: Up to 10Mbps Yes No Yes Unknown

Take our online connectivity guide to find the perfect solution for your business!

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