Recently, POTRAZ, the telecoms regulator announced a new set of Virtual Small Aperture Terminals (VSAT) annual landing rights fees which reduced the cost from $1,500 to $30 for C and Ku Band and $20 for Ka Band respectively.
All this is supposed to help expand the opportunities of internet provision in remote areas. Following on the heels of this adjustment, iWayAfrica, a local internet service provider has drastically reduced the cost of its VSAT packages.
Terming it as a re-launch of its iWayAfrica Ka-band VSAT service, the internet service provider is offering 12 or 24-month contracts with free equipment, subject to a nominal standard installation charge of $155.
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Monthly service charges start from $80 for 1 Mbps with a 15 GB data cap for a home connection. According to iWayAfrica, other value added services on speed guarantees and public IP addresses are also available for businesses from $314 for 2 Mbps with a 50 GB data cap. Each package comes with free browsing from 11 pm to 6 am everyday.
It only follows that iWayAfrica would be one of the first ISPs to jump at a price adjustment of its VSAT packages. It was one of the providers that weren’t fortunate enough to be exempt from attaching the $1,500 annual fee(liker TelOne) which VSAT providers were supposed to carry.
Before this price adjustment, iWayAfrica had pegged the 1 Mbps 15 GB package at $55, which was cheaper that the $80 being charged now, but also came with a once off equipment fee of $569 and a monthly licencing of $125 for every VSAT package.
Without being too optimistic, this looks like the ignition of price and production change for VSAT services, something that could make the main option for remote internet even more relevant.