The main providers of internet access in Cape Town, along with their websites and contact numbers, are as follows:
- Vodacom – Call 082 155 or visit http://www.vodacom.co.za
- MTN – Call 083 1808 or visit http://www.mtn.co.za
- iBurst – Call 0877 20 72 00 or visit http://www.iburst.co.za.
- Telkom – Call 10219 or visit http://www.telkom.co.za
- Neotel – Call 011 585 0000 or visit http://www.neotel.co.za
Below is a list of various 10 GB contracts, along with their connection speeds and pricing. You’ll note that the best option is also the cheapest – Neotel’s package allows for a connection of the same speed as the fastest competitor, at a vastly lower price.
- NeoFlex (Neotel package): 3.2 Mbps – 10GB – R699
- Telkom: 384k ADSL – 10GB – R766
- Telkom: 512k ADSL – 10GB – R940
- Telkom: 4Mbps ADSL – 10GB – R1,027
- iBurst Wireless: Under 1 Mbps – 10 GB – R1,249
- MTN HSDPA: 3.2 Mbps, 10 GB, R1945
- VODACOM HSDPA: 1.8 Mbps, 10 GB, R2099
These are all 2 year contracts, paid monthly, and allow for free, over the phone installation, provided you have one of the following:
- An existing Telkom phone line
- An existing ADSL line
- An ADSL modem or router
If you don’t have any of these, DSL installation is currently about R543.91, with costs going up from there for more sophisticated lines and modems. HSDPA installation requires in-store assistance. To find your nearest store, visit the website of your chosen provider – they all have store locators.
There are a great many other providers with competitive deals that may be limited to specific areas. http://www.hellkom.co.za is a great comparative site that compares pricing for internet, landline and mobile phone services.
Wireless ISPs are popping up all over the place, with more coming into business every month. They’re a viable option where other providers lack service. Be sure to ask if they have a VANS license from ICASA (see http://www.icasa.org.za) before you sign up. iBurst can be a great option if you need good roaming capabilities. It’s the largest wireless ISP in the country, and offers speeds of up to 1Mbps, excellent for a wireless service. It’s seeing expanding coverage in metropolitan areas, and its usage packages challenge the monthly cost of dialup and ISDN connections from other service providers.
iBurst packages are priced as follows:
- 1GB – R139
- 3GB – R389
- 5GB – R629
- 10 – R1249
These are regular fixtures in shopping malls and on main roads, but it is smart to ask for the per hour price before you sit down to a browsing session. Prices can range from R10 or R12 per hour to R50 or R60, usually depending on the café’s overheads. If it’s situated in the V&A Waterfront, for example, it’s bound to be more expensive than it’s worth.
Café internet access is also typically rather slow, so keep in mind that your time online may not necessarily be that useful. Odds are you’ll spend a fair amount of time waiting through overlong load-times.