Telkom may soon make download speeds of as high as 10Mbit/s the new baseline in broadband digital subscriber lines as the company moves to see off the threat posed by mobile broadband alternatives and as it moves to increase growth of fixed-line broadband in homes and businesses.
Previously, the company is rolling out 20Mbit/s and 40Mbit/s very high-speed digital subscriber line (VDSL) services by deploying fibre-optic infrastructure closer to homes and businesses and rolling out street-level “multi-service access nodes” that even allow for fibre to the home in areas that make economic sense for Telkom. In selected estates, it is testing 100Mbit/s delivered into homes over fibre rather than copper.
The speed upgrades planned are not without precedent. Telkom already began upgrading subscribers for free in 2012, when it boosted 384kbit/s users to 1Mbit/s and those on 1Mbit/s were bumped up to 2Mbit/s.
Then, earlier this year, Telkom introduced its first 20Mbit/s and 40Mbit/s services in selected areas as part of an ongoing multibillion-rand upgrade project.
Telkom this week held a high-level strategy workshop with its 140 top managers. At the conference, a number of key areas of focus were identified, one of which involved improving the quality and performance of its network.
Telkom showed that the cost breakdown of its broadband components – i.e. access, core/backhaul and service platforms – are in line with international benchmarks. Speaking at the 2013 MyBroadband conference, Telkom COO Brian Armstrong said that when building a broadband network there are four main costs: access, backhaul, platform (ISP cost), and international bandwidth.
The Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASA) has dismissed a complaint that Telkom Mobile’s Unlimited Free Wi-Fi advertising is misleading. The Telkom Mobile website is promoting its free Wi-Fi service, stating “Free Wi-Fi For Everyone! 60 minutes of Unlimited Free Wi-Fi every day for everyone”. One consumer, Mrs L Comins, lodged a complaint with the ASA about this advertising, saying she was informed that pre-paid customers will be charged R40 for an hour’s access.
Telkom expects to commercially launch fibre-to-the-home in South Africa before the end of 2014, managing executive for Telkom’s product house, Steve Lewis, has told MyBroadband. Previously Telkom revealed that technical trials are underway in 2 business parks, 3 gated communities, and a leafy suburb. According to Lewis, the home trials are currently running in La Pama in Durban; Plantations in Durban; and Somerset in Gauteng.
Photo Credit: Axel Buhrmann