Technology & Convergence - In Brief

Technology & Convergence

- On 27 Jun 2012, Alcatel-Lucent said that it will supply the network equipment to Telkom South Africa Telkom SA, one of the largest integrated communications companies in Africa, to dramatically expand the availability of superfast broadband services to subscribers throughout South Africa. The project which is part of Telkom’s strategic ‘Network Transformation Initiative includes upgrading the existing access network with new generation VDSL2 technology serving 4.4 million subscribers, and where commercially viable will also include the introduction of gigabit passive optical network (GPON) technologies to support fibre to the home (FTTH) capabilities. These new technologies will be key enablers for potential future services such as Video on Demand, IPTV, and high quality voice services.

- Avanti Communications, an Aim-quoted company, is pinning its hopes on Africa’s fast growth rates as it prepares to launch a satellite next month that will provide broadband internet services to southern and eastern Africa, the latest illustration of increasing international interest in the continent. David Williams, Chief Executive of the satellite operator, told the Financial Times that 13 per cent of the capacity of the satellite, which also covers the Middle East, has been presold, adding the company planned to launch another satellite dedicated to Africa in 2015. “It [Africa] has the biggest unmet demand, laying copper cable in Africa is very difficult, because it gets stolen … the cost of laying high quality fibre optic cables is enormous and prohibitive in most of Africa and yet there’s huge demand,” Williams said.