Telkom will launch an LTE Advanced (LTE-A) network, offering next-generation mobile broadband speeds to South African consumers, before the end of the year, the group’s chief operating officer, Brian Armstrong, has announced.
Speaking in Midrand on Tuesday, Armstrong said Telkom will have 50 suburbs covered using LTE-A technology by March 2015.
Telkom’s LTE-A roll-out plans come just days after Vodacom announced it was testing LTE-A technology using temporary spectrum allocated to it by communications regulator Icasa. The operator demonstrated download speeds of over 300Mbit/s using LTE-A technology.
Telkom is able to be more aggressive in rolling out the latest LTE technology because it has access to much more radio frequency spectrum than its rivals, putting it in a stronger position to deploy the latest technologies quickly.
“This is not a trial or pilot,” said Armstrong. “Commercial launch is starting in December.”
Armstrong said Telkom aims to have the first areas connected during the course of December. “We anticipate the initial roll-out will be complete by March 2015. The precise LTE-A product offerings and prices are still to be announced, but we can confirm we will offer bigger bundles and greater speeds for an enhanced wireless connectivity experience,” he said.
The initial LTE-A roll-out will enable peak connectivity speeds of over 200Mbit/s to selected suburbs identified in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape, Telkom said.
Telkom Mobile managing executive for networks Amith Maharaj was expected to provide more details about Telkom’s LTE-A roll-out later on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Armstrong said that Telkom was on track to launch fibre to the home in 23 suburbs before the end of the year. He also said the company was weeks away from announcing its plans in the video-on-demand and Internet protocol television market. “What’s important to us is not necessarily being first to market… It’s about being right to market.” — (c) 2014 NewsCentral Media