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FTTH gaining relevance in South Africa

By Donna Donnawitz
June 13, 2012
South Africa is still a fairly small market for fiber-to-the-home installations when compared to many other countries around the world, but the technology is rapidly becoming more prominent. As a result, a battle is waging among telecommunications companies with many building out FTTH infrastructure and working to replace their ADSL systems with better performing optical networks. At the same time, FTTH deployment is in such early stages that ADSL is still an essential technology within the region, BusinessTech reported.

These efforts are especially clear in the strategies of Telkom and ATEC Systems and Technologies, two South African telecoms who are working to replace ADSL systems with FTTH infrastructure in key strategic locations, the report said.

For example, the news source explained that ATEC is working to expand its FTTH footprint in Cape Town, which will be the first non-gated FTTH network to be installed within the country. The first stage of the project was just completed, representing a major step forward for connectivity within the nation. ATEC commercial director Gerhard Loots explained that the new network will represent a major step forward for broadband services in South Africa.

"The FTTH network is designed to be future proof, central to the IP-centric future of the east-side precinct, providing network speeds of up to 100 Mbps on standard installations and up to 1024 Mbps on customized installations," Loots told the news source.

At the same time, Telkom has also begun to recognize the importance of FTTH network systems in the grand scheme of broadband advances in the country. As a result, the company has begun developing a proof-of-concept FTTH network that could provide the foundation for a large-scale upgrade away from ADSL technology and toward optical networking options.

In many regions, not just South Africa, the move from ADSL to FTTH is still underway. However, ADSL is clinging to prominence in many areas because the economic model behind FTTH is not always mature enough to support large-scale investments in the technology. As a result, many experts agree that increased fiber-to-the-business investments can help create the revenue needed to accelerate FTTH expansion by reaching out to a more stable customer base for the broadband technology. Essentially, combining FTTH with FTTB can help monetize the connectivity option and make it easier for telecoms to install the infrastructure with minimal risk.

Perle has an extensive range of Managed and Unmanaged Fiber Media Converters to extended copper-based Ethernet equipment over a fiber optic link, multimode to multimode and multimode to single mode fiber up to 160km.


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