Sentech ups its wireless challenge

By   |  February 28, 2007

Sentech today announced their new broadband offerings which will be available from the beginning of March.

The wireless broadband supplier has upped the amount of data available on their current packages, making theirs the most cost effective wireless broadband offering available in South Africa. The cost of modems have also been significantly reduced, making the cost of entry much lower.

With this revision of their offerings, Sentech aims at targeting the current dial-up internet user by offering an always-on broadband option at comparative prices.


In addition to the flexPlus packages shown in the table, there are also the flexiFamily and flexiLite options.

MyWireless flexiFamily is available on a 24-month contract at a cost of R399 per month. It includes a USB modem or PCMCIA card and 1GB of free data. As part of the package, up to three additional users can be added, each of whom will be allocated 150MB of free data at a cost of R49 per month. These additional users will be able to purchase modems at R100 each.

The flexiLite package offers users a 31 day notice contract with 150MB of data each month for R99. FlexiLite subscribers can purchase a modem at R439 and the option to upgrade to the flexiPlus option is also available.

All of the packages have a maximum download connections of 1Mbps, with uploads topping at 380Kbps. Advertised as the maximum transfer speeds, there are however no minimum guaranteed speeds.

At present Sentech’s coverage is limited to the key urban areas of Gauteng, Durban, Cape Town and Nelspruit. To see the extent of this coverage within these areas, go to the Sentech zone locator.

Sentech intends to roll out many more stations in the near future, but the extent of this will be reliant on the availability of sufficient funds. As part of this launch Sentech have stated that they are committed to improving customer service. Marcelle Steyn, Sentech product manager, admitted that in the past there had been some problems with their customer service.

Comments

One Response to “Sentech ups its wireless challenge”

  1. Donald Klopper
    March 2nd, 2007 @ 12:00 am

    What a pathetic lot this Sentech crowd.

    I had the initial Sentech \”broadband\” offering for two years, \’cause ADSL wasn\’t available in my region at the time, 3G is still not available where I am and iBurst also didn\’t have coverage, but I wanted an \”always on\” service.

    You get a dynamic \”private\” IP address, so DynDNS is not an option, which causes problems for various reasons. On a positive note this means that even if the Sentech IP addy is on an unfirewalled PC, it is probably fairly safe \’cause of it not being public to the Internet.

    They throttle Scype connections, so not even that is really useful (one of the reasons of getting broadband in the first place!)

    They don\’t have any UseNet (NNTP) servers running, so you have to use Google Groups, and none of their support staff even know what that is.

    Also, the support staff don\’t know anything about PPPoE, which works fairly well over their expensive proprietary 3G modems if you finally get it set up.

    Various websites had issues with the way that IP masquerading was implemented at Sentech, so the point that you had to dial-up via a normal telephone line to get certain services to function as and when you need it.

    The downstream 128Kbps was achieved most of the time, but the pathetic little 3G modem\’s upstream capability was only around 32Kbps. Don\’t expect that your e-mails will send even half as fast as on a dial-up modem.

    International bandwidth was capped at something like 40Kbps, but that could be circumvented by multi-threaded downloads such as GetRight which then filled the 128Kbps \”pipe\” (haha) to the max.

    The service goes down without warning during office hours, and is very often off over weekends and after hours.

    The Sentech antennas in my area were fairly visible, but the signal strength was very low, but at least if I got a 16% signal it was good for 128Kbps connections. This is due to the 2.8 GHz (I think) 3G protocol providing *way* more bandwidth than the required so things worked sort of.

    There is no way of checking your traffic usage (there is a link but it never worked probably because I was connected via PPPoE.

    If *any* of the other broadband options are available, rather go for that! ADSL is *way* faster, much lower latency, and a better quality of service in general, and as a clincher is a lot cheaper as well, with a public (dynamic) IP addy.

    The people have the right to know.
    Donald Klopper

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