Nokia claimed an innovative pricing model deployed in South Africa had made access to fibre-based internet services more affordable than mobile broadband, as it contributed to a partnership advancing a government goal of bridging the digital divide.

The vendor teamed with digital infrastructure provider Liquid Intelligent Technologies and ISP PayGoZo to deploy fibre in the Kayamandi township. The set-up employs Nokia’s fibre nodes and modems to deliver Wi-Fi coverage.

Where the system varies in the pricing model. Instead of offering pay-as-you-go measured by data usage, Nokia noted the Kayamandi system employs a time-based set-up it stated is “more cost effective and user friendly” than mobile broadband systems while still providing unlimited data.

“The high cost of mobile data hinders equitable access to the internet for all segments of society”, Nokia argued.

It estimated more than 3 billion people globally were still unable to access the internet, in turn preventing them tapping essential digital services spanning education, healthcare and entertainment, among others.

“Fibre is by far the best connectivity solution for South African townships, providing affordable and uncapped internet essential for home workers and learners”, Naveed Kashif, head of southern Africa Market at Nokia commented.