Despite repeated complaints about the “lack of bandwidth” in South Africa, the fact remains that most users can obtain the quantity of bandwidth they require, provided they are prepared to pay for it.
So says Andre Joubert, GM of MWEB Business, who points out that, what businesses are really paying for when they purchase bandwidth, is speed. The higher the speed of your connection, the more you pay.
“The days when the World Wide Web was dubbed the World Wide Wait are over for most users, but there are some, particularly those still using dial-up, for whom the wait continues.
“But for most others, the wait has become a relative thing. It all comes down to the speed of your Internet connection – how much you have, how much you need, how much you want, and – usually the deciding factor – how much you can afford,” he adds.
According to Joubert, it is relatively easy for a businesses to move up the speed chain – from dial-up to ADSL, and from there to 10Mbps ADSL, bonded ADSL, fixed-line Diginet and, where it’s available, fibre optic.
Joubert warns that it will take some time before fibre connectivity becomes ubiquitous across South Africa, although it is rapidly being rolled out in high-density metropolitan areas – particularly areas in which business demand for connectivity is high.
The question that is often asked is why any business should pay more for speed.
The answer used to be: because speed and increased productivity go hand in hand. Now, an increasingly important facet to the speed conundrum is the cloud.
Joubert believes that the ‘cloud’ is moving beyond hype, and is likely to become a key component of any business’ computing and communications strategy within the foreseeable future.
“It’s speed that will drive cloud capability. There are business tools – information, data and apps – that are simply not viable at low speeds. With big bandwidth pipes, and the speeds these deliver, the cloud becomes a practical option for all businesses, large and small,” he says.
“The drive for MWEB Business has always been to narrow the ratio between speed and cost; and to make the cost of speed – especially in its uncapped and unshaped format – more affordable. It’s this drive that will bring the benefits of the cloud within reach of all businesses.”