Arthur Goldstuck. (www.brainstormmag.co.za)
Goldstuck told the Annual Broadband Summit in Bryanston, Johannesburg, operators were not coming up with offerings their customers desire.
“The industry doesn’t listen to consumers,” he said. "When I see the kind of offerings that are being announced week after week, one wonders who is coming up with the complex offerings when the consumer wants simplicity.”
Aside from simplicity, Goldstuck said consumers also wanted “real” broadband provision at better prices.
“By which I mean not what is contained in the DoC policy framework - 250 megabits per second. That is not broadband. It might have been 10 years ago,” he said.
Honesty on the part of the providers is also important, he said, as consumers were not getting the broadband speeds they had been sold. He urged providers to inform users of the average broadband speeds as well as the theoretical ones.
“If you want the user to believe in you, you must be honest about what you are selling them,” he said, adding that prices were too high for ordinary consumers.
“For the masses, guys who want to make ad hoc use of it, broadband is expensive.”
He asked for an end to issues around the refarming of spectrum, saying it was possible for agreement to be reached and faster broadband provided.
“There are all kind of political issues around the refarming of spectrum, and meanwhile the user sits around with 3G that doesn’t even feel like 3G. It’s all possible, someone just needs to sign on the dotted line,” he said.
Though South Africa has seen huge bandwidth increases in the last five years, Goldstuck says consumers are still not being offered the service they want.
“We’re talking about 500 times the capacity we had just five years ago,” he said. “We expect to be as connected as the rest of the world. When we hear about what they have in London we want the same.”