Demand for Telkom's 10 Mbps Broadband nears critical milestone
Telkom's journey towards consolidating its position as the premier provider of fixed Broadband is about to reach the critical milestone of connecting its 200 000th customer to its 4-10 Mbps ADSL service.
"This is the result of clear and focused set of efforts to deliver on our Broadband strategy," says Managing Director of Telkom Wholesale and Networks, Mr Bashier Sallie. "In simple terms we have set out to upgrade the speed of entry level and mid-range broadband access, whilst building out the footprint for our high speed broadband."
In a country where the potential fixed broadband customer base is relatively dispersed, uptake and utilisation levels are crucial to building out a substantial footprint and driving down the cost to serve.
Sallie points to Telkom's recent announcement to upgrade 384 kbps to 1Mbps and 1Mbps to 2Mpbs. "The news of the upgrades were well received and is keenly anticipated by our customers," he says.
"We are hard at work and on track to complete the upgrades in the next 60 to 90 days. These upgrades together the brisk demand for our 4-10Mbps bodes well for the commencement of our High-speed broadband pilots."
The usage of fixed line broadband data has grown exponentially since the introduction of uncapped data usage.
"Our customers love fixed line broadband. I've observed the evolution of broadband usage in my own home over the past few years. If the service is down, which is not often, then there is mini crisis in my home! We have a couple of PC's, three tablets and four smartphones all set up to use fixed broadband to access the internet in the home zone, either via cable connection to the modem or WiFi with the aim of optimising mobile data usage. Also leveraging the quality of service and speed of a fixed line broadband service especially for large downloads or a latency sensitive application is key.
"So it's not just a case of 200 000 10Mbps connections - it's important to understand the one-to-many or multiplier application of fixed broadband. I would say on average four people have the use of a fixed broadband connection in the home, in small and medium business this is probably significantly higher. The proliferation of tablets and smartphones has been a boon for fixed broadband stickiness," adds Sallie.
In March 2012, Telkom announced the start of a journey towards a future-proof network, based on a comprehensive set of network interventions. At the time Sallie said, "We have commenced the last, and arguably the most challenging, of these interventions - a revamp of our access network. The destination is an all-IP network designed to enable fixed-mobile convergence and truly differentiated high speed broadband."
Sallie explained that the revamp of Telkom's access network aims to enable a truly differentiated broadband capability. He reiterated that Telkom will take fibre deeper into the network, thanks to new fibre capabilities, and will smartly leverage a mix of access technologies, namely very high speed DSL technology (VDSL2) in a fibre-to-the-curb configuration and passive optic fibre (PON) configuration directly to the home or business premises.
Telkom aims to increase our Multi Services Access Node (MSAN) rollout to 3700 points of presence in the country. This new generation fibre access node will enable VDSL2 and xPON speeds.
"We are on schedule in building out our pilot footprint and will make the detail available in the next couple of weeks," concludes Sallie.
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Telkom is a leading communications services provider in South Africa and on the African continent. We had consolidated operating revenue from continuing operations of R33.1 billion and profit for the year from continuing operations of R179 million for the year ended 31 March 2012. Total assets from continuing operations amounted to R52.6 billion and equity attributable to the owners of Telkom to R29.7 billion as of 31 March 2012. The group generated free cash flow of R2.1 billion for the year ended 31 March 2012.
As of 31 March 2012, we had approximately 4.0 million telephone access lines in service and 99.9% of our telephone access lines were connected to digital exchanges. We offer business, residential and payphone customers a wide range of services and products, including:
- fixed-line subscription and connection services to post-paid, prepaid and private payphone customers using PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) lines, including ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) lines, and the sale of the subscription based value-added voice services and customer premises equipment rental and sales;
- fixed-line traffic services to post-paid, prepaid, and payphone customers, including local, long distance, fixed-to-mobile, international outgoing and international voice-over-internet protocol traffic services;
- interconnection services, including terminating and transiting traffic from South African mobile operators, as well as from international operators and transiting traffic from mobile to international destinations;
- fixed-line data centre operations and internet services, including domestic and international data transmission services, such as point-to-point leased lines, ADSL (Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line) services, packet-based services, managed data networking services and internet access and related information technology services;
- e-commerce, including internet access service provider, application service provider, hosting, data storage, e-mail and security services;
- W-CDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access), a 3G next generation network, including fixed voice services, data services and nomadic voice services;
- mobile communication services, data services and handset sales through its mobile brand called 8•ta; and
- other services including directory services, through Trudon (Proprietary) Limited, wireless data services, through Swiftnet (Proprietary) Limited and internet services outside South Africa, through iWayAfrica Group (integration of Africa Online Limited and MWEB Africa Limited).