Herotel, South Africa’s junior fibre network operator, on Monday announced the milestone of reaching 100 000 subscribers with its fibre and fixed wireless networks.
Founded in 2014 with the stated goal of providing a single national fibre and wireless broadband provider that can better service South Africa’s growing internet connectivity needs, Herotel acquired around 39 owner-operated businesses and 45 000 customers over a four-year period.
Operating in over 400 towns, Herotel is at the forefront of building, selling and maintaining its own next-generation fibre and fixed-wireless networks across the country, which requires servicing areas that many other industry players have not been able to reach.
While consolidating these businesses into one national entity, Herotel also began rolling out its own fibre networks across South Africa.
By targeting non-metro, underserviced areas and introducing some of the lowest pricing for a ‘true uncapped fibre line’ – broadband that is uncapped, unshaped and unthrottled – Herotel has now secured the third-place market position, and shows no signs of slowing down.
“By hitting the magical 100k customer mark on our own network, we can officially say that Herotel is the third-biggest player in the South African fixed broadband market, deploying networks beyond the traditional fixed line footprint,” says Herotel CEO, Van Zyl Botha.
Notably, this milestone means that Herotel has successfully added 55 000 organic new customers to its network by offering better pricing and direct service to clients, he adds.
“While 45 000 customers came with the businesses that joined Herotel, we’ve not only retained those clients on our network, but have subsequently attracted 55 000 more, to reach the 100 000 mark.”
The company aims to pass another 445 000 premises on its network, which is basically 10 000 stands for each of its 45 offices. This fibre expansion with its network of 2 500 towers will allow it to connect many more South Africans to the internet with two-thirds of its customers on fibre and one-third on fixed wireless.
The company has raised the R910 million in funding it requires to build the infrastructure in order to service these customers, and is looking to accelerate its deployment.
“We currently have 105 towns and projects in build phase with many more in planning,” says Botha.
To celebrate this momentous milestone and further fulfil its vision of Everyone Connected, Herotel has partnered with the non-profit organisation Digital Village to provide one free internet connection – to people who cannot afford the minimum monthly subscription – for every paying Herotel subscriber on its network.
“We are honoured to be able to give back in this way, while supporting South Africa’s growing internet connectivity needs in the process,” says Botha.
“We may have grown significantly over the years, but our overarching goal as a company remains the same, to get Everyone Connected. We pride ourselves in bringing faster, more affordable internet services to all communities, and this latest partnership with Digital Village is just one more way we can do this.”