iBurst PC/Internet bundles stall in South Africa


iBurst has terminated its PC/Internet bundle offering while Sentech has ceased to actively market its bundled product. MTN previously said sales of its PC/Internet bundle were ”trickling in slowly”.

iBurst MD Alan Knott-Craig Junior says iBurst's PC/Internet offering did not sell well enough to justify the administration and risk management costs the company incurred.

The probable reason for poor sales is that consumers prefer to buy hardware to their own specifications, from a familiar vendor like Incredible Connection, rather than take the “one-size-fits-all” bundled offering, he says. “The offering was not worth our while.” The high price of PC hardware and software also impacts on whether people can afford Internet access, he says.

Sentech product manager Mike Kuczmierczyk says Sentech will continue to offer its PC/Internet bundle. However, the company is no longer actively marketing it. He would not be drawn on the number of PC/Internet units Sentech sold. “All I can say is the offering definitely sold below expectations.”

Broadband providers initially introduced PC/Internet bundles as a way to lower the barrier to Internet access and drive broadband penetration in the country. Telkom, Vodacom, MTN, MWeb and Polka also provide PC/Internet bundles.

Telkom and Vodacom would not state how well their PC/Internet bundles are selling, saying the matter would be addressed at the companies' mid-year results presentation on 19 November.