Broadband coverage and capacity challenges in South Africa


“The explosion of broadband data usage in South Africa and internationally is creating an ever-growing set of coverage and capacity challenges that cannot be addressed effectively by any single technology,” Winston Smith, head of Alvarion in South Africa, is quoted in a press statement issued this week.

Smith added that the same is true for all types of wireless broadband networks from tier 1 mobile carriers to wireless internet service providers, enterprises, governments and municipalities, and private network operators.

“The subscriber numbers and uptake of broadband for wireless users is much higher than in cabled options in South Africa, and this trend is set to continue into 2012,” said Smith.

“The solution to under-capacity is to employ multiple complementary technologies which can be optimised for various types of networks and applications.”

Alvarion highlighted that, in line with this “multi-technology approach,” it recently signed a definitive agreement to acquire Wavion, a carrier-grade Wi-Fi provider.

According to Alvarion, interference is one of the biggest challenges in deploying Wi-Fi, which is where Wavion comes in.

Alvarion said that Wavion provides better coverage, higher capacity and interference immunity using smart antenna, beamforming and SDMA technologies.

“Alvarion is fast-shifting from a focus on WiMAX-based RAN solutions to a multi-technology wireless broadband provider, and with the inclusion of Wavion in our offering, we will have Wi-Fi as the final component of a complete solution for our customers,” Smith said.