Telkom throws down fibre gauntlet - TechCentral

Telkom throws down fibre gauntlet

Sipho Maseko

Sipho Maseko

The fibre broadband market in South Africa is becoming increasingly competitive, according to Telkom CEO Sipho Maseko.

At Telkom’s annual results briefing in Johannesburg on Monday morning, Maseko briefly outlined how competition in the local fibre broadband market is hotting up.

Companies such as Vumatel are increasingly targeting suburbs in cities such as Johannesburg and Cape Town with fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) product offerings.

Areas such as Parkhurst and Greenside in Johannesburg have already been provided with fibre broadband from the likes of Vumatel.

These offerings are independent of Telkom, allowing customers an alternative in terms of fast Internet products.

However, Telkom is also rolling out its own FTTH products in major centres such as Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban.

But Maseko acknowledged that competition in this space is increasing, with about 25 fibre broadband infrastructure providers in South Africa.

“So it is getting tough out there,” Maseko told attendees. “As a company we need to make the right response.”

Maseko also said that globally, players such as search giant Google are also entering the broadband space. “Clearly, we’re being attacked from all fronts,” said Maseko.

He also said it will be “game on” in the local fibre space in time to come.

Telkom is targeting 20Mbit/s, 40Mbit/s and 100Mbit/s wholesale fibre broadband offerings in selected areas in South Africa.

The company on Monday also reported that it has surpassed the million mark in terms of the number of local broadband digital subscriber line connections. ADSL broadband provides slower Internet speeds than fibre broadband.  — Fin24


  1. Greg Mahlknecht on

    I keep a keen eye on this space; Telkom are failing miserably compared to their competition. They deploy slowly, are very secretive (even people in the areas marked as “currently rolling out” on their site find it impossible to know what’s going on and are engaging with alternative suppliers) and their prices are roughly double those more “free market” players.

    I was really hoping Telkom had turned over a new leaf with their FTTH push, but it looks like they’re making all the same mistakes as ADSL (including the IPC business model)

    I’m currently engaged with LinkAfrica to get fibre in to my neighborhood and oh my what a pleasure to work with a competent company. You ask them questions, and they actually give you straight answers and the kind of timelines you’d expect.

  2. Greg Mahlknecht on

    It appears they have an IPC model for the FTTH – same as ADSL, so it’s still not really an open system.

    Contrast this to LinkAfrica/Vuma (“layer 1”) where companies can rent the actual fiber (“layer 2”), and then the ISPs (“layer 3”) can choose whose fiber they deploy on – it’s usually just a single company that controls fiber at a layer-2 level, but the fact it’s open keeps them honest – if they overcharge, it’s worth competition moving in.

  3. It appears that Telkom might be moving into our estate later in the year. Thanks for clarifying the difference. Although, the IPC model is surely still better than the one provider solution (Vodacom/MTN/etc.)? As a matter of interest, do Telkom replace the copper for an IP based telephone solution too?

  4. Greg Mahlknecht on

    Yes, IPC is better than the Vodacom/MTN model. I looked at the Vodacom/MTN stuff – they are indeed badly overpriced, but they catch unsuspecting people by offering zero install charge + deploy with low penetration numbers. They say people also choose them because they’re a known brand… but come on, who associates ANY mobile provider favourably with good data products!

    Not sure about Telkom’s landline replacement plan… I’ll ask someone I know that has it.

  5. Telkom monopoly is over. I know someone on vumatel who only pays R199 for true uncapped 4 meg Internet connection. Telkom have somewhat always been expensive. I wanted to take out an adsl line R800 per month + is expensive. Bribe naked adsl

  6. The Emperor has no clothes... on

    I’ve been working with several providers to provide FTTH to my suburb and have received proposals from several including the big guys. The only one that really excites me is LinkAfrica – head and shoulders above everyone else. Pleasure to deal with, knowledgeable, efficient, and honest.

  7. Whoooopeee..There will be dancing in the streets and the heavens will be crying out with joy!
    We will now have our FINAL digging up and non-reinstatement of our pavements for the 8th or 9th time.
    Thanks be to the Lord himself ..we are saved!
    What’s that? It all means Jack until they have actually brought the signal to your boxie on the wall?

  8. Greg Mahlknecht on

    I can’t get hold of my Telkom FTTH friend (maybe the line is down 🙂 ) but I got hold of my company’s VOiP provider (switchtel (dot) coza – highly recommended) – and they confirm the landline number can be ported and used with a VOiP line, at no extra monthly cost (R49 for a a VOiP account). So I’m guessing Telkom would offer the same kind of service.

  9. Perhaps all that competition is why Telkom chose to steel Cybersmart’s LightSpeed branding. “Game on” ja.

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