VODACOM PLANS TO OFFER SOUTH AFRICAN BROADAND USERS A SINGLE ACCOUNT TO COVER MOBILE, DSL AND HOT-SPOTS
Vodacom is working on an innovative new broadband account which may allow their subscribers to have a single account across all broadband services. Vodacom is aggressively targeting the broadband market and will soon add ADSL to its current 3G/HSDPA and iBurst offerings. They are further investing billions in their own fiber network to alleviate their current backhaul bandwidth constraints and cater for future demands.
A valuable addition to their growing broadband product range will be a single account which can be used on any service, independent of the access technology. Good news for consumers is that Vodacom is already working on such a product.
According to Pieter Uys, COO of Vodacom, the last mile access technology used to connect to the broadband network will become insignificant in future. This falls in line with visions of ubiquitous broadband in SA where various access technologies will serve consumers’ needs to stay connected wherever they are.
A typical example is a subscriber with a fixed line ADSL service at home or in the office, with a ‘wireless broadband’ enabled laptop for business trips and an HSDPA smart phone for checking email and surfing the web when away from the office.
Currently most users will have two or more accounts to use with their various broadband services, and a single account is a logical progression to make it easier for consumers to manage multiple broadband connections.
Vodacom is gearing up to become a one-stop broadband shop and have plans to supplement their HSDPA and iBurst services with ADSL and WiMax before the end of this year.
While they will initially only resell ADSL services from Telkom, the company is already looking at using their own network to provide all the bandwidth required for the different broadband offerings.
Vodacom is hence well positioned to launch an all-in-one broadband account in future, something which should make other operators like Telkom and MTN sit up and take note.