Telkom’s wholesale arm, Openserve, working with Nokia, has achieved download speeds of 900Mbit/s over a short-haul copper circuit.
The speed was achieved as part of tests as Openserve prepares to deploy G.fast technology, a way of dramatically speeding up access speeds over legacy copper networks in specific environments such as high-density housing and office parks.
TechCentral first reported last month that Telkom intends to boost its copper-based digital subscriber line network to up to 100Mbit/s using G.fast. The technology is well suited for delivering fibre-like speeds over short copper loops — not to providing services to customers that are far from Telkom’s exchanges.
CEO Sipho Maseko said at Telkom’s annual results presentation on 5 June that G-fast will allow the company to provide high-speed broadband to “a lot more people without having to spend hundreds of millions of rand” to replace copper local loops with fibre.
Maseko said it will deploy the technology especially to blocks of flats and to housing estates.
G.fast can provide access speeds of up to a theoretical 1Gbit/s over copper lengths no longer than 100m. It’s not meant to be used over distances of greater than 500m.
In a statement following Telkom’s results presentation, Openserve said that in areas where it already has an access fibre footprint, it can use G.fast to deploy fibre-like access to townhouse complexes, smaller gated communities, multi-dwelling units and office parks that already have copper access lines.
This could prove particularly useful where there is resistance from owners and residents to trenching to deploy new fibre into people’s homes.
Nokia and Openserve said they achieved the speeds of 900Mbit/s in a trial of G.fast technology in an office complex in Pinelands in Cape Town.
“This trial is a dry-run for Openserve’s commercial deployment of G.fast later this year, meaning it will soon join the top 10 companies worldwide deploying the technology, part of its drive to rapidly expand its footprint across South Africa,” they said in a statement.
“The results of the trial demonstrated an aggregate bandwidth (upstream and downstream) of 900Mbit/s on short copper loops, and speeds of 500Mbit/s upstream and 250Mbit/s upstream on an existing copper line at a distance of 150m.”
“G.fast provides us with a great alternative in scenarios where the length of the copper tail is 150m or less,” said Openserve CEO Alphonzo Samuels. — © 2017 NewsCentral Media