Category: connectivity

South Africa Fixed LTE: MTN vs Telkom vs Rain

In this post we will look at the fixed LTE options.

Fixed LTE is a method of connecting to the internet - where your router connects with a tower and the medium of data exchange is microwaves in the air. Fibre is a method of connecting to the internet where the medium is glass in a cable. Fibre is more reliable but slightly slower in latency.

Fixed LTE is the best option if Fibre or ADSL is not available in your area and you need a reliable connection.
Fixed LTE is also a good option for renters who do not own the property they live in.

Fixed LTE means that the connection is fixed to the closest tower. You will have to notify them if you change locations.

Note: All providers require a RICA meaning your proof of address and other information they shouldn't need in reality

MTN

MTN has decent coverage and can be found on the MTN coverage page.

When signing up through afrihost it is called Pure LTE (but it is just MTN behind the scenes)

The biggest negative is that you are forced to use 1 of 4 routers - chinese brands: ZTE and Huawei.

MTN also locks you in to a certain location that you cannot change easily.

mtn-chinese-routers

Price

  • 30GB for R200
  • 60GB for R350
  • 100GB for R550
  • 150GB for R750
  • 200GB for R950

Telkom

The telkom coverage map shows pretty decent coverage.

There is no locking of use of a specific router.

Price

  • 30GB for R220
  • 50GB for R320
  • 70GB for R430
  • 90GB for R540
  • 220GB for R1000

Rain

Rain piggybacks off Vodacom which is know to have a poor quality 4G network.

You can check the coverage on rain.co.za

Rain is also known to shape the network - ie. set limits on certain traffic and prevent speeds in excess of 10Mbps.

Price

  • Uncapped (unlimited data) for R479

Summary

All the above options are month-to-month and suitable for renters or people that tend to have fairly long stays at different locations within South Africa.

If you already have an LTE router not on the MTN list then it makes sense to look at Telkom or Rain as options.

Avoid MTN if you can

It is also important to test your area - the congestion or interference in your area may drastically reduce the quality of your connection and affect voice and video conferencing (real time) traffic.

If you want a more in depth pricing comparison look at mybroadband LTE price comparison

Also a note on going direct or not. Going direct with telkom or MTN is not advisable as the experience is not streamlined. Using an ISP like Afrihost or Axxess is advisable.