LTE vs ADSL vs Fibre: What do I need?

Internet connectivity in our homes and our offices has become a commodity for modern life. We rely on it for so many things and it’s safe to assume that, life as we know it, would be haywire without it. But when it comes to ensuring that we have constant internet access, how do we know which connection type is best for us? With so many options to choose from, shopping online for internet packages can be overwhelming.

In this guide, we’ll help you to compare your options so that you can make the right decision. Our focus is on LTE, ADSL, and Fibre.

In This Guide:

ADSL vs Fibre vs LTE - Which one is best for me?

ADSL, Fibre, and LTE are currently the most popular internet connection types in South Africa. To know which one will best suit your needs, having sound knowledge of what they are and how they work is key.

Below, we’ll briefly describe LTE, ADSL, and Fibre and we’ll draw a comparison between the three - keeping budget and internet speed as focal points.

What is LTE?

LTE stands for Long Term Evolution. It’s a 4G technology that has been created to be a superior wireless data transmission portal. It allows you to download and upload files much faster than you could with previous 3G connectivity.

This type of wireless internet connection used to be limited to mobile phones but now it can be accessed via a portable LTE modem that can be placed in your home for everyone to use.

What is ADSL?

ADSL is an acronym for Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line. It’s an advancement on DSL broadband technology that sends data via existing copper telephone lines while still allowing you to receive calls at the same time (unlike traditional DSL which would hog the entire line).

ADSL is somewhat of a “dinosaur” when it comes to online connectivity, but it is improving its infrastructure as you read this. We guess only time will tell what type of advanced improvements this technology will come up with (so, keep your eye on it).

What is fibre?

A fibre connection relies on fibre optic technology to deliver high-speed data. Data is transmitted via fine glass tubes and literally travels at the speed of light. Fibre is hands down the most reliable method of connecting to the internet, but it’s not yet available to everyone.

Fibre can sometimes be a costlier option. However, plan prices are dropping fast, and some may say that the astronomical line speeds are worth every penny.

LTE vs Fibre

LTE is your go-to connection if you’re looking for a completely wireless internet option but still want fast data transitions. With LTE you will be able to reach speeds of up to 50Mbps, which means you will be able to do all the online basics, stream videos, and still dabble in some light gaming. LTE is also often a preferred choice because of its mobility. If you are moving to a new house, or you need to take your internet with you on holiday, then this is the way to go.

With that being said, fibre is still the fastest and most reliable type of internet connection. If you are a serious online gamer or if there are many users in your home who like to stream their favourite movies and series at once, then fibre will give you the best value for money.


In terms of speed, LTE is faster than ADSL and far more reliable. However, it’s also more prone to external factors, such as weather, and it’s thus not as stable as ADSL. To add, the latter is far more readily available to outer lying areas.

When it comes to price, LTE and ADSL are competitive with there plans and it’s difficult to say which one is the most cost-effective solution. But in terms of speed, LTE will give you the best bang for your buck.

ADSL vs Fibre

If fibre optic cables have not yet been laid in your area, then ADSL is an alternative if you insist on a wired connection. ADSL also often comes with more affordable monthly subscription fees, making it an attractive option when you are shopping on a budget and you don’t need a superiorly fast line-speed.

When it comes to reliable connectivity with speeds that can reach up to 200Mbps, then nothing will beat what optic fibre broadband has to offer.

Compare Internet Deals

Chances are that you’ve stumbled on this guide because you’re shopping for a way to get yourself connected. Well - welcome!

Apart from helping you to distinguish the differences between the internet options available to you, we are also here to help you compare quotes between the different South African internet providers in your area. We invite you to use our free online quote comparison tool so that you can compare the different plans quickly and easily. Simply complete the form with and we’ll provide you with cheap internet options within minutes.

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