Mobile network giant MTN is just weeks away from launching the first high-speed fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) connections to high-density urban areas, including affluent gated communities and high rise buildings.
The FTTH commercial offering is set to be piloted at Monaghan Farm, an eco-friendly, off-the-grid gated estate near Lanseria from 1 June, where 60% of residents have already signed up to the connection.
The fibre broadband connection is capable of delivering speeds of up to 100Mb per second – faster even than Telkom’s newly upgraded offering.
“We are massively excited by the momentum that our pre-launch has already created. By pioneering the technology in South Africa and indeed Africa for the current set of speeds on offer, we are sealing our position as the provider of choice,” said Eben Albertyn, MTN SA’s chief technology officer in a statement.
The network provider remains tight-lipped on product pricing, at this stage only available to residents, and is only willing to say prices are negotiated on a “case-by-case” basis, adding that the FTTH programme will for the time being be demand driven from homeowner associations and communities who express interest.
Rival network operator Vodacom is injecting R9 billion into infrastructure spend for 2014, a large portion of which is set to be used on developing its extensive home and business fibre broadband roll-out strategy.
Vodacom is currently involved in exclusive buyout talks with Neotel in a bid to up the company’s stake as a major player in the fixed-line home and business field. Finalisation of the transaction is subject to regulatory and corporate approval as well as the successful conclusion of commercial negotiations, Business Report reports.
“This transaction, if concluded, would stimulate greater competition in the South African fixed telecommunications sector and will accelerate the provision of high speed data links. It would also result in the combined entity being able to offer an expanded product range and as a consequence, enhanced customer service,” says Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub.
For the meantime Vodacom is focused on “building the fibre backbones” to offer the service to gated communities.