Year-End Greetings from techCONNECT 2022
And that was the year! We have a few days left of what was a roller coaster ride of a year, and what a trip it’s been!
From the previous uncertainty of Covid lockdowns to the war in Ukraine that seemingly increased the price of everything to everyday consumers, the word “normal” has changed meaning in our vocabulary.
What challenges will we face in the coming year? Is China invading Taiwan? Another virus outbreak? Global warming, an energy crisis.
The emergence of AI (Artificial Intelligence) is a significant concern that we cannot ignore. AI is becoming ubiquitous in everyday life. Soon we will not distinguish a human operator from a robotic one.
Deepfakes can mimic the faces and voices of every single person on earth with a simple scan of your social media photos and videos. Be very careful what you place online, and be very careful not to believe everything that you read or see. It may not be real.
Follow trustworthy news sources. You are responsible for educating yourself on these technologies, as they will not disappear.
Turn off location and information tracking on your phones and smart TVs. You will be shocked at the amount of data they collect. Better still, please chat with us about setting up anonymous browsing.
They say that sometimes progress can be measured by simply putting one foot in front of the other. It’s felt like a slog, but the techCONNECT Team has been making steady progress. A very special THANK YOU to every one of our clients for sticking with us during these tumultuous times.
Due to the increase in load-shedding, we installed backup batteries at every one of our Wifi Towers. The increase in historic uptime is evident if you look at https://status.techshops.co.za/.
At techCONNECT, we like to distinguish ourselves from a client service/WIFI uptime point of view. We’ve installed seven new WIFI towers, with an average uptime of above 98%. All towers are running on 48V battery systems, with WA, Naboom and Pofadder being upgraded to solar soon.
We’ve been growing steadily by more than 30 clients a month, with a 60/40 split between businesses and residential clients. Our prices are a bit higher, but we need to be realistic regarding pricing as all costs have been rising, especially fuel costs.
We’ve had massive expansion into the Naas/Tonga area, growing our subscriber base by more than 250 clients in these areas this year alone. We’ve also opened a Tonga office to better service our clients in these suburbs.
Furthermore, our Greyvan tower is nearing completion, which will alleviate a lot of pressure on our single link from Lebombo mountain into Marloth Park. It will also provide a failover in case this link goes down.
I often get asked whether our competitors installing fibre connectivity in Komatipoort and Marloth Park have hurt our business. The short answer is “no”.
Simply put, FTTH or Fiber To The Home, is a farce. If you have a 1GB line shared by thousands of subscribers (commonly referred to as contention ratio), the effective speed that every subscriber receives on the line is less than 1 Mbps, not 100. Preseem’s Fixed Wireless Report states that the average subscriber uses 6 Mbps when active and speed plans over 100Mbps sit idle. Most clients use no more data as their speed plans increase. A summary of this information is provided on page 3 of the report, available here.
What matters most to clients is the quality of their wifi experience, that videos don’t buffer and that there is someone to talk to and can help them when they phone our support number (013 013 0310 during office hours and 072 261 4324 after hours, up to 10 PM). When a problem requires a technician to visit the site, we ensure that this happens within 48 hours.
I want to thank each member of the techCONNECT Family. Your never-say-die attitude epitomises the South African Spirit. You guys make me so proud to be a part of the Team.
And finally, to our loyal clients. Thank you for being so supportive. Thank you for your business. Thank you for being patient with us during the ups and downs of doing business in a challenging environment.
We will always be here for you and try our best. That is a promise.
May you enjoy time with your Family and loved ones, and if travelling, please do so carefully.
God Speed and Warm Lowveld Greetings
Arno and the techCONNECT Team