JSE-listed telecommunications operator Telkom has begun rolling out fixed broadband connections offering speeds of up to 40Mbit/s on a trial basis in selected areas in Gauteng, Durban and Cape Town.
The pilot, which will run until the end of January 2013, is open only to subscribers to TelkomInternet, the company’s Internet service provider (ISP). It appears likely that customers of other ISPs will need to wait until the higher-speed broadband connections are made available commercially.
Although broadband digital subscriber line (DSL) users interested in gaining access to the faster speeds will pay more for the privilege, Telkom on Sunday was being coy about exactly how much the services would cost, saying TelkomInternet would communicate this separately.
The launch by Telkom of the trial comes several months later than expected, according to Bashier Sallie, MD of the company’s wholesale and networks business. Sallie ascribes the delay to a legal challenge brought by ZTE Mzanzi, a losing bidder for the tender for the refresh of Telkom’s access network. The contract was awarded to Alcatel-Lucent Technologies and Huawei.
The trial will take place in five areas where Telkom has already rolled out its next-generation “last-mile” technology. They are Benmore Gardens (4 900 ports) and Fourways (3 600 ports) in Johannesburg; Waterkloof (4 500 ports) in Pretoria; Durban North (1 100 ports) in KwaZulu-Natal; and Durbanville (1 300 ports) in Cape Town.
Telkom Group CEO Nombulelo Moholi says the trial forms part of a broader plan to deliver Internet access across SA, from business parks at the high end, which will receive speeds in excess of 100Mbit/s using fibre, right down to rural areas that will be served using slower wireless and satellite solutions. — (c) 2012 NewsCentral Media