Telkom’s first MSANs are already live, serving well over a thousand of Telkom’s fixed line broadband subscribers. Over the next few months thousands more of Telkom’s ADSL customers will be migrated to this new high speed broadband network.
In March 2012, Telkom officially announced they had begun rolling out 3,700 multi-service access nodes (MSANs) that will replace 2,700 older generation cabinets and add another 1,000 to their number.
These new cabinets can offer speeds of up to 1Gbps using fibre as the last mile, or up to 40Mbps using Telkom’s existing last-mile copper infrastructure, Samuels said. Each cabinet can handle 370 to 600 connections, depending on the ports activated.
The project has suffered some setbacks, including an interdict related to a tender process which effectively stalled the deployment of Telkom’s MSAN (Multi Service Access Node) project. Another concern was the KT deal which was recently stopped by government.
However, the MSAN rollout is back on track after the North Gauteng High Court granted Telkom leave to appeal against an interdict which was brought by ZTE Mzansi in March 2012.
Telkom also said that the KT deal does not affect their MSAN rollout. “Telkom’s MSAN deployment, as well as other capital projects, are rolled out in accordance with our demand forecast, master plan, and expansion strategy. Our current financial position should allow it to fund network transformation,” Telkom said.
KT’s know how will also not be lost to Telkom. CFO Jacques Schindehutte explained that while they would have liked to have KT as shareholders, they now have an agreement to use KT experts as consultants in the company.
MSAN rollout going strong
Alphonzo Samuels, head of network infrastructure provisioning at Telkom, said in March 2012 that they want to be ready to kick off the pilot project in July 2012.
Good news is that Telkom is on track with its plans. Recent information from the company highlighted that the first MSANs went live in May, already serving over 1,000 customers. More MSANs went live in early June as well.
It is understood that over 50 MSANs will go live over the next three months in the Cape Town, Durban, and Gauteng areas. Telkom’s target of 3,700 MSANs by 2015 also remains unchanged.
Best broadband service in South Africa, including FTTH
Telkom said that its access network revamp aims to enable a truly differentiated broadband capability.
“As such, we will take fibre deeper into the network 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,” said a Telkom spokesperson.
“Given the mix of customer broadband needs, a dispersed customer base and vast geography in SA, Telkom has chosen FTTx as its solution to ensure commercial and service sustainability.”