The winter solstice. 21 June. That’s the likely date on which Telkom will announce long-anticipated upgrades to its broadband network and begin offering, hopefully soon thereafter, download speeds over fixed lines of up to 10-12Mbit/s.
Until now, the fastest broadband the company has provided has offered download speeds of up to only 4Mbit/s. Its two other “broadband” packages offer downloads of just 512kbit/s and 384kbit/s.
The telecommunications operator has been working to upgrade its access network — the bit that connects consumers to its telephone exchanges — so that it can begin offering higher-speed broadband using asynchronous digital subscriber line (ADSL) technology.
It has installed fibre-optic cables closer to people’s homes so that it can provide services using ADSL2+, an upgrade to ADSL that is capable of offering download speeds of up to 24Mbit/s over copper.
If Telkom is true to form, it will use its annual results presentation — set to take place on 21 June — to announce the upgrades. It has used its results presentations in previous years to announce changes to its broadband offerings, including price reductions.
Telkom is under pressure to increase the speeds on its ADSL network as rivals in mobile begin deploying wireless networks capable of theoretical download speeds of up to 21,6Mbit/s.
Both Vodacom and MTN have built 3G networks capable of theoretical download speeds of up to 14,4Mbit/s. And both companies, as well as Cell C, are building 3G services capable of 21,6Mbit/s (in theory).
Analysts and consumers will also be watching Telkom closely to see how it reacts to MWeb’s decision to introduce uncapped broadband offerings.
A host of Internet service providers now offers uncapped solutions and Telkom is under growing pressure to respond with uncapped or high-capped offerings of its own. — Staff reporter, TechCentral