MWeb Wi-Fi: more details emerge

The Internet service provider is conducting proof-of-concept trials with Netcare hospitals, Spur restaurants and other venues as it ramps up plans to build a national Wi-Fi network.

Nathier Kasu

Nathier Kasu

Naspers-owned Internet service provider MWeb has entered into proof-of-concept tests with City Lodge, Hyprop Group, Netcare and Spur as it looks to build a national Wi-Fi network.

TechCentral first reported on 4 December that MWeb intends tackling the incumbents in the public Wi-Fi hotspot market in South Africa with an aggressively priced offering of its own.

The Internet service provider has deployed Wi-Fi to Canal Walk and N1 City, shopping centres near Cape Town, and to the Protea Glen Mall in Soweto. It intends to have rolled out Wi-Fi to 150 venues around the country by the end of March.

To entice consumers to use the service, MWeb is offering all users — not just MWeb customers — free, uncapped access to the network until the end of February 2014. After that, MWeb uncapped users will continue to have free access and their usage of the Wi-Fi network will also be unlimited.

“We can also report that the in-mall coverage and quality thus far have been beyond expectation and that we are averaging over 400 registrations per day at Canal Walk alone,” says MWeb Wi-Fi GM Nathier Kasu in a statement.

Customers will auto-connect whenever they return to an MWeb Wi-Fi Zone, meaning they don’t have to log into separate hotspots as they move from one area of a mall to another. After the end of February, consumers will continue to have access to Internet and get the first 30 minutes Wi-Fi access for free, says Kasu.

Capped MWeb broadband digital subscriber line (DSL) customers will get a 300MB/month allocation, though Kasu said in a recent interview with TechCentral that the service provider hopes to use the Wi-Fi product to entice more of its capped customers onto its uncapped DSL products.

Non-MWeb customers will be able to subscribe to the Wi-Fi product from March 2014, but the company hasn’t revealed pricing yet.

By March 2016, MWeb expects to have between 500 and 600 venues around the country live with Wi-Fi coverage.  — (c) 2013 NewsCentral Media

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  • http://janneman27.wordpress.com/ Jannie Kirsten

    …first of all: “usage of the Wi-Fi network will also be unlimited” doesn’t make any sense, since their ADSL Uncapped accounts aren’t even “unlimited”…
    …secondly: “the service provider hopes to use the Wi-Fi product to entice more of its capped customers onto its uncapped DSL products” is a farce because they can’t even provide enough bandwidth for their current “uncapped” customers and people are starting to realise how bad their uncapped product really is…how do they want to add even more?!

  • Greg Mahlknecht

    I’ve just gone through the process of trying most the big uncapped ADSL providers – Mweb aren’t top-of-class like they used to be, but they’re still one of the better ones (their “full uncapped”, not the “lite”). FNB’s was absolutely the worst – laughably bad, followed by the IS-based accounts (WebAfrica, etc). I eventually settled on Afrihost, but they have a bit of a strange system where they allocate their accounts in pools, and if you get unlucky you’re in a pool with a lot of leechers, and get bad speeds – they will, however, move you to another pool if you complain.

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