Frequently Asked Questions

What does your Service Level Agreement (SLA) Cover?

We have different types of SLA package options which are based on set criteria and the level of service that your business needs. The benefits of having an SLA include; faster response times and fault finding, lower call out fees, no unforeseen costs as well as uptime guarantees. Your SLA is like an insurance policy should there be any issues related to your Internet.

Does your SLA Cover PABX Hardware?

An SLA with Zinia does not cover PABX Hardware other than the hardware manufacturers’ guarantee. A specific PBX SLA is offered and available on request, which is custom to each clients’ system and needs.

Does Zinia provider Internet for Home Users?

Zinia is a business only telecoms and ICT provider and does not service home users.

What is Zinia’s Coverage Map in SA?

Zinia has wholesale agreements with fibre and microwave providers in SA as well as its own fibre and wireless network. We have a Tier 1 network, which is an Internet Protocol (IP) network that can exchange traffic with other Tier 1 networks without having to pay any additional traffic or peering fees. It also means we have direct access into big networks and provide wider coverage for businesses without compromising on quality.

Choosing the right network that has coverage in your area and is the right fit for your business is key. Zinia will determine upfront which is the best network for your business needs so you can make the right decision.

What does Contention ratio mean on Broadband Services?

Simply put contention ratio means if you purchase a 100Mbps line with a contention ratio of 10, often expressed as 1:10, it means the line is shared with 10 other businesses. So, you effectively get 100 Mbps divided by 10 = 10 Mbps. Some providers have an even higher contention, but at Zinia we never go beyond 1:10.

The typical traffic of an Internet user goes up and down in spikes. Different businesses have different peaks and troughs at different times. This means your business will get the high speeds but in bursts. With, for example, a one-to-ten ratio, Zinia has found most customers get between 70 and 80 percent of their line speed at all times.

Clients who need a 1:1 contention ratio, have the benefit of a dedicated line with 100% of the line speed available all the time and other features that come along with it.

Does LTE have contention?

With LTE there is no guaranteed contention, this means you do not have any guarantee of uptime or speed.

What does Broadband Fibre mean?

Broadband is the term for any high-speed Internet access including Fibre, ADSL, wireless, mobile LTE and Microwave technologies. What distinguishes broadband from older technologies is that it is always on and faster than dial-up access over traditional Analogue or ISDN, PTSN services.

What is uncapped vs capped?

Uncapped has a lower monthly payment, however it is the lowest priority data service that you can get and is only suitable for low Internet use. Capped is like having a first-class plane ticket, where you get bumped up the line. If there are a lot of users busy at the same time, then Capped will be faster than Uncapped. Capped is more expensive but brings with it the peace of mind that your line won’t be slowed.

Do we have un-capped LTE services?

There is an uncapped Liquid Telecom product which we supply in bundles of 2 MB, 8 MB and 10 MB but coverage is limited.

Why is FTTB more expensive than FTTH?

In South Africa Fibre to the building (FTTB) is often called Fibre to the business and is a term used when wiring up an office building to fibre.

FTTB costs more because of the investment made by an Internet provider in the fibre infrastructure – 90% of the cost of that service is the infrastructure. This includes trenching, civils, laying of the cable over a longer distance to reach the business, and switching equipment which provides better delivery of service.

With FTTB fibre is placed much deeper underground with better protective reinforcing to avoid degradation.

Fibre to the home (FTTH) providers only provide one fibre strand per home versus FTTB which provides up to 48 pairs of fIbre strands for redundancy and future planning.

The equipment used with FTTB is more robust, has built in redundancy and allows for future planning.

Who is Zinia?

Zinia was formed in 2009 as a business Internet Service Provider (ISP) delivering the best networks under one roof. In just under 10 years Zinia has grown into a formidable force, with 50 employees and a service ethic client’s rave about. The group now provides Internet, voice, outsourced IT and specialised enterprise solutions to companies in South Africa.

Our superior in-house engine of experienced employees, combined with a Tier 1 Carrier Grade Network and state of the art real-time monitoring centre, makes us the perfect Telecoms and ICT provider for your business.

What does Zinia do?

Next-level business needs high performing Internet, voice and IT to succeed. At Zinia we work hard to take your business to the next level.  We go above and beyond to keep your connectivity, communication and technology working for you.

Zinia provides end-to-end communications and ICT from Internet, Voice and PBX, Outsourced IT and Dedicated Enterprise solutions for companies.

I tried Voip before and it was terrible, why will it be different with you?

There are technical reasons why VoiP is either good or bad.

Firstly, data is sent in packets and reassembled on the other side, however with voice the packets have to be sent in the same order as they were sent. Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) allows for voice to be sent in order and sent and received in realtime. In addition, it has to allow for two-way communication, not just one way.

Secondly, latency affects the quality of voice – latency is the is the term to describe the time it takes a data packet to travel to a local server and back again. This duration of time is known as latency and is recorded in milliseconds (ms). A single voice line travelling at 40 kbps must have a latency threshold of 50 ms. When sending voice through a wireless frequency or copper, it is much slower than fibre and therefore the latency is high which disturbs the voice call, often resulting in time lags and voice distortion.

Thirdly, Quality of Service (QoS) is required where voice either takes priority over data or voice is carried via separate connections.

Finally, the voice gateway either inside a PBX or as a separate gateway, converts the voice and fax calls in real-time between the public switched telephone network (PSTN) and an IP network. This means it decompresses the original voice packets into digital, then converts them into analogue so it can travel on the PSTN, and then back to digital again .

All the above means that if you have inferior products and no QoS, your VoiP will be bad.

Why use Zinia for your VoiP?

Zinia’s voice servers are on a closed private connection and do not go through the Internet, this means less hops are required to get to the voice server and back. In networking a hop is the number of intermediate devices data must travel between the source and destination. Data packets pass through bridges, routers and gateways and when it is passed to the next network device, a hop occurs. Because Zinia is using Layer 2 protocol not the Internet which is Layer 3, it provides a more direct route to the voice servers and back, which provides quicker latency, better problem resolution and stronger security.

Zinia carries voice on separate channels for both fibre and Microwave and can also be delivered as SIP or traditional voice waves.

With Zinia you have one company providing voice, data and PBX, not three. This provides for better QoS and accountability.

With Zinia you get both the voice quality and savings of lower voice call rates.

I have fibre at home and I only pay X amount, why is your quote so expensive?

There are two main reasons business fibre is more expensive.

Firstly, with business fibre the cost of infrastructure is more expensive. From trenching, civils, laying of the cable over a longer distance to reach the business, and switching equipment for better delivery of service.

Secondly, the equipment used with business fibre is more robust, has built in redundancy and allows for future planning. For example, with home fibre only one fibre strand is available per home versus business fibre which provides up to 48 pairs of fibre strands. In addition, with business fibre the cable is placed much deeper underground with better protective reinforcing to avoid degradation.

Can you use my existing equipment? (Router etc)

No, the router supplied by Zinia is a managed, secure private connection and is managed by us on your behalf. The router sets up how we deliver service to you based on your package as well as for remote support.

If you are purchasing our outsourced IT network services, yes we can use your existing equipment, if it meets best practice criteria and is able to deliver the quality of service expected.

What monitoring systems do you make use of?

Zinia has a state-of-the-art, real-time monitoring centre – we take proactive measures to resolve network problems before you even know there is an issue. Keeping you online and driving your business is critical, this is why proactive service is essential.

Zinia uses advanced geo location technology – we use advanced fleet management software to direct the closest technician to you which means faster resolution of problems. Our fleet system loads the job onto the in-vehicle device, with directions and job instructions.

What is the AUP (Acceptable Usage Policy) on my connection?

Each AUP or Fair Usage Policy (FUP) is written differently depending on the Telco provider and the service purchased. As a general rule, uncapped packages, which are cheaper, come with limitations as explained in the provider’s FUP. Some providers use shaping or throttling to control the line speed if the amount of data in the contract is exceeded within a month. Usage limits are different depending on the ISP used. While other providers shape or throttle uncapped products, Zinia does not unless our FUP is seriously breached.

Many companies think that when they are purchasing an uncapped fibre line there is no limit on the line, however they need to check the FUP as uncapped services usually involve some form of shaping or throttling.

What happens if I reset my router?

If your router is reset it can lose your configurations and if it is constantly reset, IT equipment can be damaged. The chances are if your router has to be constantly reset, then there is a problem with it. You need to bring this to attention of your internal IT person or your Zinia service manager.

What speeds should I be getting on my connection?

The speed of your connection depends on the speed of the line you have purchased and the contention ratio. Our minimum guarantees are the line speed purchased, divided by the contention. For example, a Zinia Broadband Fibre package of 50 mps with 1:10 contention, you would divide the speed by 10 = 5 Mbps.  For Zinia Premium Broadband Fibre you will get 50 Mbps divided by 0 (zero contention) = 50 Mbps.

If you have chosen a service like LTE, it is a best effort service which means there is no guarantee of delivery.

How do I make sure that my switchboard is up even though there is a power outage in the area?

Your switchboard should have an Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) / battery backup, giving you time to shut down your system properly and to act as a buffer if there are any power surges. A larger invertor and batteries can provide up to 8 hours of uptime, which is worth the investment considering the cost of downtime due to load shedding.

How do I check coverage on your website to see what services are available in my area?

We advise doing a proper viability for your business versus checking coverage maps which can be outdated.

Zinia has wholesale agreements with the top fibre and microwave providers in SA as well as its own fibre and wireless network. We have a Tier 1 network which means we have direct access into all the networks and provide wider coverage for businesses without compromising on quality.

How do I get usage reports/ graphs without having to ask for it? 

Usage reports and graphs can be automatically emailed off the system for our clients. Alternatively, we recommend having your own firewall which allows you to control your environment and provides easy to understand statistics, graphs and usage via dashboards.

How do I cancel my contract?

You have to send a cancellation to accounts or your client relationship contact who will check your existing contract term and provide you with a cancellation date or early settlement figure.

Why aren’t FUP explained to me up front?

Your FUP depends on the vendor and package purchased; it should have been explained upfront. Zinia prefers to take an informative approach, discussing a client’s reliance on connectivity and aligning the right product to their needs.

While other providers shape or throttle uncapped products, Zinia does not unless our FUP is seriously breached. As a rule of thumb, if the deal is too good to be true, then it is not. The most well-known broadband uncapped products have the least lenient FUP.

If you cannot provide the full 99% uptime as guaranteed, what is the credit process?

This process depends on the network used, each network handles penalties differently. Usually, the % by which your service has gone down below your SLA is credited, however penalties escalate the lower you go until your service breaches the contract and then you can terminate.

Can Zinia cancel our current services once they have installed the new solution?

No, the client is in control of their existing contracts and must cancel them directly.

Why should we outsource our IT?

By outsourcing all or parts of your IT function, you get access to a dream team of experts who are specialists in their field and able to assist in all areas of your IT environment. These specialists are normally out of reach to a customer due to their huge cost. Zinia IT provides all of these specialist IT skills to clients are a fraction of the cost due to the fact that we are carrying the cost and spreading it over a large customer base.

Should we use cloud versus onsite servers?

Cloud is a huge buzzword but not always the right answer for all business’s, applications and budgets. Often on premises or a hybrid environment is far more suitable to your application and budget.  It is important to have a skilled IT professional assess your business requirements and provide guidance on the right direction for your business. You need to ensure your essential business services are in the correct place, as well as fit your business requirements and budget.

What is the best antivirus software?

Companies should strive to have the best products in place to adequately protect their environment. The best does not always mean the most expensive and out of reach. You need to select an anti-virus product that is consistently in the upper right quadrant on Gartner Magic Quadrants which provides a snapshot and insights into a market’s direction, maturity and vendors. Choosing the right Anti-virus software is the first step, the second is to ensure certified engineers implement the solution correctly the first time, giving you peace of mind knowing your anti-virus is protecting your business at all times.

Which firewall should I use?

With the increasing rise of data breaches, securing your network has become critical. Your business needs the best protection against the latest advanced threats like ransomware, cryptomining, bots, worms, hacks, breaches and APTs. When advising on a Firewall we recommend Sophos which has the latest functionality — from advanced threat protection, app control and branch office VPN, to mobile NACemail and endpoint protection.

Choosing the right firewall product that is correctly spec’d for your business size, as well as having it professionally installed and configured is essential.

Reasons to choose the Zinia firewall:

  • It’s easy to manage, and use.
  • Advanced hardware that outperforms the competition in independent tests. There is also software, virtual or cloud-based options.
  • Everything’s on one box. It gives you the latest next-gen firewall features. In addition, email, endpoint, and mobile features you can’t get anywhere else.
  • Reporting’s built in. Detailed reports come as standard, stored locally on a built-in hard drive. No separate hardware or tools required.
  • A three-time Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader. No other firewall vendor can say that. This means proven protection you can trust from a Leader in UTM, Endpoint and Mobile Data Protection.

How do I setup my printer?

Printers can give a range of frustrating problems whether it’s a smaller print setup or a large infrastructure. If not setup correctly, your users can lose valuable time waiting for vital documents to scan or print. With today’s modern environment including the cloud, mobile devices, wireless and document scanning, you need experienced and qualified technicians to help you in all areas of your IT environment.

How do I synchronise my phone and computer?

Having access to business information is critical in the mobile digital age where you and your employees need to be able to work from any device, at any time. This means seamless integration between a PC and mobile device, and if you work on more than one device, you need to have a synching solution or strategy to ensure you can have your latest files available.  Whether it’s a document, Skype conversation, notes or updated calendar, your synching strategy has to be up to scratch. Zinia IT’s experienced team of specialists will guide you in the right direction to ensure that all your requirements are effectively implemented, to allow you to work for any device at any time and always have access to whatever you need.

What disaster recovery software should I use?

With the evolving threat landscape and ransomware, backups are the only true defense against attack. Companies need to ensure that backups are impenetrable and not located on the network where they could be reached. Zinia IT uses host “vaults” for client backups which means they are inaccessible to viruses and attacks. We can therefore get our clients back up and running in a matter of hours. Our backup and disaster recovery solutions are based on best practices and is constantly evolving.