Telkom's Openserve achieves 900Mbit/s over copper - TechCentral

Telkom’s Openserve achieves 900Mbit/s over copper

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 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 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. 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 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.

Office complex

Nokia and Openserve said they achieved the speeds of 900Mbit/s in a trial of technology in an office complex in Pinelands in Cape Town.

“This trial is a dry-run for Openserve’s commercial deployment of 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.”

“ 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


  1. This is why its good to have a network provider separate from Telkom. Because a network provider’s product is simply to provide the best networks possible. With no concern for how that network capacity is used by its clients.

  2. Greg Mahlknecht on

    >150m or less

    So this is really just for blocks of flats? Wouldn’t it be easier and cheaper and more future proof just to use the existing copper lines as pull wires to run Cat6 cables, then chuck the old copper line away?

  3. Greg Mahlknecht on

    I’m not sure there’d be any difference in pushing a fibre or cat6 cable, but the infrastructure behind the cat6 network would certainly be cheaper to deploy and manage.

  4. Nah i’m not so sure. Cat6 is far “fatter” than fibre. Fibre also has far better density available so you’d be able to service far more people with less work. Copper is over. Light is the future. Lets also not forget copper theft.

  5. Greg Mahlknecht on

    Remember we’re just talking 150m runs within a building. And you don’t need specialised skills or equipment like fiber, just phone up any networking company and they’ll come and run the lengths no problem.

    Not sure how you get “less work” – you have to pull a length to every customer, it’s not really that much more work pulling a cat6 cable than a fiber cable 🙂

    I agree that for the last mile, copper is dead, but this isn’t the last mile – this is networking internal to a building. No reason not to use traditional networking topolgies there. It wouldn’t make any sense wiring up a company with fiber network points, just to require a converter back to ethernet to plug in the PCs.

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