It seems as though hybrid working arrangements are here to stay.

This trend arguably offers the best of both worlds but – with employees being neither fully remote nor fully back on-site at the organisation – it brings with it some unique Connectivity requirements.

When it comes to choosing an Internet solution, there are many options to choose from, each with its pros and cons.

And when you add in the need to possibly switch up wherever the team is working from, on a daily basis – the office / home / back to the office – then the ‘best solution’ can change quickly. Throw in a spot of loadshedding and the possible permutations continue.

Let’s look at how to maximise Connectivity for the hybrid work environment.

Some Tech Specs
To make and receive calls, and enjoy access to the Internet – which includes calls using Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) – customers in more urban areas can make use of Connectivity product offerings through Vox that include the following:
• Fixed-line Fibre: including Fibre to the Home (FTTH) and Fibre to the Business (FTTB);
• LTE-A and 5G: the latest wireless broadband technology offering Fibre-like Connectivity speeds

Voice and Data offerings:
o Including Vobi, our smartphone app that lets you make calls to any platform at significantly reduced rates; and
o Supafone, a hardware phone that enables calls over any Internet connection.

Vox also offers VOX UPS products, as well as facilitating Wi-Fi, Email, Hosting, Routers and extenders, Microsoft 365, Domains, Internet Security, and Cell boosters.

Which Solution is Best – and Where?

Let’s look at Fibre, Wi-Fi offerings, Fixed LTE-A, 5G and some mobile solutions that might surprise and delight you.

Fibre First:
At Vox, we like to say that Fibre is the ‘gold in the ground’ – simply because it’s the highest attainable standard of Connectivity possible, and it’s generally laid in the ground. (Here’s another quick technical note: it’s usually trenched into the earth, but the cables can also be raised above ground, depending on the area and the requirements.)

A Fibre Internet connection makes use of Fibre-optic cabling, which sends information using light pulses – so your data is, quite literally, travelling at the speed of light. This form of data transmission is much faster and more efficient than traditional methods using electricity or copper wires (ADSL).

Vox offers Fibre to the Business (FTTB) and also Fibre to the Home (FTTH). Additionally, we have a limited ADSL offering, but aim to upgrade this to newer technology wherever we get the opportunity.

Working at the office?
You don’t get better Connectivity than that provided by Fixed-line Fibre to the Business (FTTB). Vox offers scalable options with tailored value-adds to suit your business needs – just click on the link to find out if FTTB is available in your area currently.

Working from home?
We have a number of Fibre to the Home (FTTH) packages together with our Fibre Network Operator (FNO) partners, who include Frogfoot, Vuma, OpenServe and Octotel. Again, you can check out the link and see if Vox’s FTTH options are in your neighbourhood.

But what about if FTTB or FTTH isn’t in your area yet? We’ll discuss that too – but first, a short interlude about where Wi-Fi fits into the picture, and how we can assist here also.

Wi-Fi: The Final Internet Step Inside
By laying the network of Fibre-optic cables in the ground, this provides the necessary backbone for providing Internet Connectivity within a particular neighbourhood. Inside the nearby buildings, the final step involves using a wireless networking technology (Wi-Fi) throughout the space you are working from – workplace or home – which then enables your smart devices to connect to the Internet. So in other words: Wi-Fi is not equal to the Internet itself, but rather is wireless technology that enables your devices to connect to the Internet.

Your Internet signal is transmitted from your Wi-Fi router, and wireless or cabled access points throughout your home or business, connecting to your smart devices without the use of physical cables. The router or access point creates the Wi-Fi network within your home or business.

Working at the office?
Vox provides managed Wi-Fi services for businesses. This enables remote software, firmware updates, reduced technician call-outs with remote troubleshooting and fault remediation. Don’t get stuck in the past but rather upgrade your Wi-Fi to future proof your business Connectivity – find out more.

Our state-of-the-art wireless equipment, management and security facilitates enterprise-wide mobility for WFH (Work From Home) and BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) initiatives – so we’ve got you covered for when your employees are working from home or the office.

Working from home?

From an entry level Wi-Fi solution for small to medium homes, right through to maximising your Wi-Fi signal for more complex home user requirements – Vox has you covered. With Vox Wi-Fi for the Home, we offer a number of excellent services – over and above great Wi-Fi – including Home Mesh access points, to provide a lag-free connection for multiple devices; rental or purchase options available; stable long-range Connectivity and a mobile app to manage usage, restrict access, and provide guest WiFi and parental control profiles.

Fixed LTE-A and 5G: When Fibre Options Are Lacking, or Down

And now back to what happens if your area doesn’t yet have FTTB or FTTH. It’s very simple: think LTE-A and 5G (that’s a lot of letters in just two sentences).

Fixed LTE-A and Fixed 5G are fixed wireless Internet solutions that use radio waves to transmit data between a router and a cell tower. (In comparison, your mobile phone is just what it says – a wireless connection that allows your mobile phone to move around with you, where it continuously picks up the nearest radio signal from the nearest cell tower on the network.)

As relatively new technologies, Fixed LTE-A and 5G provide high-speed Internet access in areas where other types of Internet solutions are not available. Fixed LTE-A and 5G are also alternatives to traditional broadband for people who want a fast connection (Fibre-like speeds) without having to pay for a fixed line – you can plug and play immediately, and take advantage of faster Connectivity speeds that are secure and highly reliable, at an affordable rate. Vox works in partnership with MTN and Telkom.

Working from the office:
You’ll want the uncapped data option so that all your employees can be connected.

Working from home:
Depending on your needs, you can choose a lower-cost package or uncapped – it’s up to you.

Failover option:

For both office and home working where either FTTB or FTTH is available, you can also choose LTE-A as a failover option to stay connected if the Fibre in your area should go down.

Mobile Options Too…
Whether you’re working from home or spending time in the office, you need to be able to make and receive calls. Vox is not in itself a mobile network operator (MNO) – but we do partner with them for various reasons, in the pursuit of enabling South Africans with connectivity options.

We are also pleased to offer Vobi, our smartphone app that lets you make calls to any platform (using a cellphone or a landline) at significantly reduced rates, both locally as well as overseas; and Supafone, a hardware phone that enables calls over any Internet connection and allows you to switch instantly between IP and fixed line calls.

Working from the office (SME) or home:
Supafone calls are routed over Vox’s high-quality Voice network. The Supafone is capable of HD sound quality and can connect up to six handsets.

Working from home:
Choose Vobi – the smartphone mobile application which allows you to make and receive calls using the Vox network, as well as video call and text all from one app – get calling now!

A Quick Note on Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) Systems
We all know about the realities of loadshedding in South Africa and they aren’t going away any time soon. Consider getting an affordable and reliable backup power supply – a UPS – so that your Connectivity doesn’t have to be compromised during power outages, whether you are running on Fibre or wireless.

Working from home:
Our UPS solutions are your perfection companion to keep your routers, Wi-Fi, mobile devices and so much more powered when load-shedding strikes. Choose from one of two different options to keep your most important devices powered up when the power’s out – laptop, monitor, printer and smartphone.

You could think of a UPS as being the unsung hero of Connectivity in South Africa today, working in tandem with your Connectivity infrastructure to keep you online when the electricity’s off.

Moving Forward
With Vox, and thanks to the sheer variety of options we are able to offer, it is possible to find the perfect balance between availability, speed, price and requirements.
We are proud to enable connectivity and thus communication, which ultimately enables individuals, communities, businesses and the country as a whole to move forward.