Telkom’s stance on its latest product is to provide super-fast internet without an ADSL line, and no cap. The service does just that. From the get go I was on 4G. The modem has a 5-bar ranking for signal and I was always on the fourth bar. Starting off I hit speeds of close to 50mb/s, faster than any ADSL on the market, and faster that most entry level fibre packages. This meant that my download rate would sit at over 4mb/s, which is 4000kb/s, ten times better than my 4mb line which hit 430kb/s maximum.
Telkom’s only T&C is its 50GB FuP on Peer 2 Peer downloads. This goes for any torrents, FTP, and news downloads. Once you have hit 50Gb, you are throttled, and majorly. So if torrents are you daily occurrence, then this is a not for you. But there are other ways to download these days.
The package I received had a Huawei B315 modem, the 4G enabled sim card, and a Poynting, which is installed on your roof facing the tower for optimal coverage. Keep in mind that some applicants will not receive the antenna if your reception is on par with the signal tests. A Telkom technician was supposed to come and install the antenna, but I am still waiting for him to arrive, 3 weeks later.
How It Works
It is simple, you need to head on over to Telkom’s LTE website and type in your address to see if your area has the service. The service works in 3 tiers: R599, R699 and R799. If the service is new in your area, then it could mean that you will pay R599, the more people that sign up, the more expensive the service gets. The first 50 people get it cheaper, and the next 50 it goes up by R100 per month, and so on. As you can see in the image below, there are only 5 spots open for R599 in my area.
Telkom will unlikely sign you up for the service unless you are in the coverage area. This means that even if you are a block away, you will suffer from slower speeds. This is for quality of product reasons, it is understandable. If you are determined to get this service, and are outside of the product range, then you can go ahead, but just know you will not be using this package to its full potential.
YouTube plays a video without any buffering, at full 1080p, and at times, when available, 1080p 60fps. Streaming in general is fantastic, Showmax and other streaming services run without an issue at all.
Playing games online is flawless. Games like Raid on Destiny: The Taken King, and the internet-intense, Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited worked great.
When it comes to downloads, the speed is a bit unstable. My speed, which is only 4 of the 5 bars, and without an antenna being up, reaches between 3.8mp/s and 4.6mp/s. I downloaded a 10GB patch for a game, it took 40 minutes. Before it would have taken 10 hours. Strange thing though, my PS4 download speed was quite slow, at around 1.2mb/s. But when downloading through the proxy, it was reaching new speeds.
Another advantage of the package is that there is no ADSL line, which means you will never have to deal with Telkom’s shoddy customer service when your line goes down. The only thing that could happen, is that your tower goes down, which will be pretty seldom.
Again, the 50GB cap applies to all P2P traffic, so stay away from torrents altogether. Also make sure you are in the blue area when signing up, and if they call you to sign up, check before you do anything. A friend of mine signed up after being called, to find out she was just outside of the coverage. She does not get close to 25mb/s when testing the speed. Sure the coverage range will be extended in the future, but for the time being, you would have to put up with low speeds.
I cannot fault the product, but I can fault the service as getting it together was a headache. I had to call them a dozen times to complete my application after the email said I must “sit back and wait for a consultant to call”. Just follow up, push them, and you will be sorted in no time. This service is really the best thing Telkom has ever done. It has found a gap in the market and is going to make people very happy. If you are interested in this service then be sure to visit the website.