Vox is looking to spur fibre uptake in several previously disadvantaged communities around South Africa through the launch of its subsidiary HYPA, an Internet Service Provider (ISP) which focuses on providing cost-effective unlimited wireless connectivity, enabled by fibre, to areas covered by the Vuma Reach network.

South Africans from across socio-economic backgrounds are increasingly consuming more content and services online; in areas that do not have any type of fixed-line connectivity, users are entirely reliant on mobile connectivity, despite the high data costs. In response, fibre network operators are expanding their networks to cater to customers in areas such as Mitchells Plain, Grassy Park, Chatsworth, Phoenix, Gonubie, Soweto, Soshanguve, and Vosloorus.

“Through HYPA, residents of these areas will be able to get affordable, prepaid wireless internet access at their homes that provide them with unlimited data, which makes it ideal for streaming videos and music, consuming online services and more. The barriers to entry have been further reduced as there are no installation or connection fees, or long-term contracts that users need to sign up for,” says Brink van Zyl, Online Experience Consultant at Vox.

According to Van Zyl, the cost burden on these customers is further reduced with – the on-premise optical network terminal (ONT) which is included in the package, the built-in WiFi functionality that supports up to 10  wirelessly connected devices and a local area network port for wired connections. This is unlike traditional home fibre installations, which can include an installation and/or activation fee, and require a separate WiFi-enabled router – which the user purchases through their ISP or on their own – in order to create a wireless home network.

“There are currently two products available, both of which feature unlimited data: the first featuring a download speed of 40Mbps and an upload speed of 10Mbps, and the second having a download speed of 20Mbps and an upload speed of 10Mbps. These prepaid offerings can be purchased as a 28-day access package, or as a monthly recurring package that will be automatically renewed until the ISP is instructed to end the service,” says Van Zyl.

Customers looking to purchase either of the pre-paid packages can do so on the HYPA website; depending on the package selected, they can either pay upfront via PayFast, using a debit or credit card, or through EasyPay via the app or in-store. Customers will automatically be redirected to the relevant payment gateway, or be provided with the relevant reference numbers needed to make their payment.

Van Zyl says that HYPA will be looking to work closely with local community organisations and influencers in order to drive awareness about the benefits of fibre-based connectivity, as well as the countless opportunities that are opened up through access to unlimited internet. As part of its community engagement, the company is running a referral programme that rewards people with a R50 voucher for successfully getting a family member or friend to sign up.

“Customers can check the HYPA website to make sure they are located within a Vuma Reach coverage area and to sign up for their preferred package, which includes a seamless RICA process, where users can take photos of their documentation with their mobile devices and then upload it to our system. Once that is done, an installation appointment will be scheduled and an accredited installer will install the on-premise equipment so that residents can get connected to stable, unlimited wireless internet,” adds Van Zyl.