Finweek English Edition - - Property Compass - FRIK ELS

ser­vice – Ne­oflex – is the prod­uct that South African homes and small busi­nesses are ex­pected to latch on to when it be­comes avail­able at end Novem­ber. Though it’s prob­lem­atic to change your tele­phone num­ber, switch­ing only your In­ter­net con­nec­tion is eas­ier.

Ne­oflex – for the first time – also pro­vides lo­cal net­work­ing and WiFi ca­pa­bil­i­ties to Neo­tel’s CDMA prod­uct range, mak­ing it a di­rect com­peti­tor to ADSL. The 802,11 b/g Wi-Fi router (un­for­tu­nately, not the new, faster “N” spec) has built-in wireless se­cu­rity.

It’s easy to set up. Real easy. The prod­uct is pre-con­fig­ured, so you lit­er­ally just have to con­nect the router to a PC via a net­work­ing ca­ble and off you go. A unique fea­ture (per­haps es­sen­tial fea­ture, con­sid­er­ing re­cent noises from Eskom) on the Ne­oflex de­vice is its built-in bat­tery that can sup­ply up to 2,5 hours of op­er­a­tion dur­ing an elec­tric­ity cut. Neo­tel says av­er­age down­load speeds of be­tween 450Kbps and 900Kbps are achiev­able (from a max­i­mum of 3,1Mbps), with typ­i­cal up­load speeds of 300Kbps to 700Kbps.

Test­ing in an area of Jo­han­nes­burg with “ex­cel­lent” cov­er­age (ac­cord­ing to the Neo­tel call cen­tre) gave con­sis­tent down­load speeds above 1 500Kbps (hit­ting 2,2Mbps on one test) and half that on the up­link.

Pric­ing hasn’t been an­nounced but should un­der­cut its com­pe­ti­tion, par­tic­u­larly when it comes to monthly us­age. The out-of-bun­dle rate re­mains at just 8c com­pared to cel­lu­lar providers’ R1,20, so even if your cap is ex­ceeded it won’t break the bank. Month-to-month and 24-month con­tracts will be avail­able.

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