Telkom has begun testing fibre-to-the-home and fibre-to-the-business services as part of what it’s calling a “technical proof of concept”.
The tests are part of the company’s multibillion-rand project to refresh of its access network into homes and businesses as it moves to offer much faster fixed-line broadband to its customers.
The company’s new multi-service access nodes (MSANs) — large, white-coloured cabinets deployed in South African city streets — allow it to offer fibre to the home and business as well as speedier VDSL (very high-speed digital subscriber line) access using its legacy copper network.
The fibre-to-the-home and fibre-to-the-business tests are meant to “fully test the newly deployed MSAN technology”, Telkom says. “Five sites were identified and, at March 2013, the company delivered the first 100Mbit/s service to a business customer and residential customer.”
Telkom has deployed 240 broadband nodes as part of the refresh of its access network.
The new network offers about 125 000 “active ports”.
The deployment follows a trial in 53 areas that was conducted in 2012 and the early part of 2013. The MSANs have allowed Telkom to introduce broadband over copper at speeds of 20Mbit/s and 40Mbit/s, up from the previous fastest product, which offered 10Mbit/s.
Telkom says it has also taken fibre into 3 150 office blocks and business parks, in the process decommissioning copper cables that previously served these buildings. “This has improved service to these office parks and buildings and reduced our exposure to, among other things, rampant cable theft.”
The company’s MD for wholesale and networks, Bashier Sallie, says another 53 MSANs are ready to be rolled out “in the near future”, together with a further four telephone exchanges representing about 175 MSANs. — (c) 2013 NewsCentral Media