Vodacom has announced plans to launch fibre-to-the-business (FTTB) services in South Africa, starting with selected business parks in Gauteng, Cape Town and Durban, which will get access to broadband speeds of up to 100Mbit/s.
In a statement, Vodacom Business — the cellular company’s business services arm — said the service, called Broadband Connect Fibre, will use the latest passive optical network (PON) technology and will be aimed at small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
Prices start at R2 599/month and go all the way up to R16 999/month (see table below).
“With this new service, businesses will be able to access rich content experiences via the Internet that were previously only available to large corporate customers,” Vodacom said.
The operator said that since 2008, it has spent more than R2bn on fibre transmission to connect its more than 10 000 cellular base stations. This network forms the backbone of the FTTB service.
“We’ve invested billions of rand in building our fibre-optic network, meaning that we now have the critical mass to offer customers across South Africa access to the latest technology including FTTB,” said Vodacom Business chief officer Vuyani Jarana in the statement.
SMEs will get uncapped Internet access, a router and optional fixed-line voice-over-Internet protocol telephony.
“Rapid deployment including the connecting and upgrading of fibre cables is part of the service, and all installation costs are covered by Vodacom,” the company said. “The plans, which are tailored to meet the needs of all sizes of business, offer a range of connection speeds from 5Mbit/s to 100Mbit/s.”
In future, Vodacom intends offering customers the option of installing additional equipment in their premises to, in effect, set up a dedicated mini mobile base station, it said. “This equipment, which uses the fibre connection to route cellphone traffic back into the network, will give the best possible mobile signal and eliminate any troublesome coverage spots in the office.” — (c) 2014 NewsCentral Media