Openserve tops fibre list while Vodacom finishes last


The Internet Service Providers Association’s (ISPA’s) perception survey revealed that Telkom’s Openserve is the preferred fibre network operator among Internet service providers (ISPs), while Vodacom finished last.

The survey, conducted in August 2023, asked ISPs to take fibre network operators (FNOs) on various characteristics.

ISPs work closely with fibre network operators to serve their clients and are, therefore, well-positioned to rate their performance.

Telkom’s Openserve achieved the highest average rating among the large FNOs, with an average score of 7.0 out of 10.

Metrofibre and Octotel shared second place with an average score of 6.8, followed by Vox-owned Frogfoot with a score of 6.3.

South Africa’s largest fibre-to-the-home provider, Vumatel, was in the middle of the pack with an average score of 6.0.

On the other end of the scale, Vodacom performed the worst, with an average score of only 4.1 out of 10.

The table below shows the average perception scores of South Africa’s largest fibre network operators.

It should be noted that only large FNOs with a significant number of votes were included in this analysis.

FNOAverage Score
Link Africa5.9
Dark Fibre Africa5.8
Liquid Intelligent Technologies4.7

Action in fibre market

There is more behind ISPA’s FNO ratings than meets the eye.

A full analysis showed that larger fibre network operators have an advantage over their smaller counterparts in servicing their clients.

To service ISPs, an FNO must have a quality network, good client engagement, technical expertise, monitoring, and solid business processes.

These components span across all FNOs, independent of size. Larger FNOs have more resources to build great systems to provide the best customer service.

Like all other telecommunications companies, fibre operators also benefit from economies of scale to drive profitability.

Fibre service, especially fibre-to-the-home, is an important future revenue stream for traditional mobile operators like Vodacom and MTN.

It is, therefore, no surprise that Vodacom wants to buy Vumatel and DFA and MTN want to buy Telkom for its Openserve fibre assets.