Business & Economy

Sunday, 24 July 2011 22:25

Bandwidth 50 times more costly in SA

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Leading local free email service provider Webmail has relocated its servers to France prompted by the huge cost of international bandwidth. The company reports paying 50 times more per month for Telkom international bandwidth locally, than what it is now paying in France. Telkom has as a result lost out on a large base of internet users. The question is how many other service providers will follow suit?
Leading local free email service provider Webmail has relocated its servers to France prompted by the huge cost of international bandwidth. The company reports paying 50 times more per month for Telkom international bandwidth locally, than what it is now paying in France. Telkom has as a result lost out on a large base of internet users. The question is how many other service providers will follow suit?

According to Alan Lipschitz, CEO of Webmail, this approach is a gross oversight on behalf of Telkom. He comments, “We’ve simply been left with no choice, given the escalating costs levied by Telkom. Rather than protecting local monopolies our laws should be stimulating local jobs and local growth – and the internet and technology are ideal platforms from which to do this.”

Meanwhile, Webmail has now had to invest heavily in infrastructure to enable its users to get the benefit of more than 10 times more storage space than previously offered. In addition the service provider can now offer other services to its 600, 000 unique user base, including free SMS.

The location of servers internationally has been offset by Webmail running the Linux platform itself, with enhanced server architecture compared with what it had with Telkom.

Webmail, which receives the highest number of locally served page impressions for a local company in South Africa, has until now had the challenge of competing with international services that don’t have to bear the cost of local bandwidth. Now, with its significantly reduced bandwidth costs, the company can really develop more services for users by taking full control of the service platform.

Lipschitz concludes, “It’s a sad day when it’s cheaper to service people from offshore but the results speak for themselves. We have enhanced services overall by about 400% on many levels and are now on a relatively equal footing with overseas players. With 600, 000 users and 250 staff to consider, Webmail relies on local support and going global allows us to provide the best local option to our users.”

For the ADSL site:
Webmail acknowledges that it still needs to provide a solution for some users who don't have international traffic in their ADSL package, however it sees this to be as little as 1% of its users and declining. The benefits for other users are dramatic.
The change in traffic needs more analysis but seems more around the actual coding of measurement from the migration and where Webmail has made certain pages faster and users can now get onto next page before the full page is loaded and hence these pages do not get counted.

Read more http://www.mediaweb.co.za/journalist/mnews_j_.asp?id=3835

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