View Full Version : ADSL in South Africa
A collection of press releases from Telkom about its ADSL service which serves as a timeline of developments in the local ADSL market
Telkom today began the commercial trial of its Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) service in Gauteng, ahead of a staggered national rollout that will see an ADSL presence established in the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and Free State by March next year.
"The first phase is a commercial trial in Gauteng that will be used to fine-tune various processes before we extend the ADSL footprint to other major centres," said Telkom's Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Pinky Moholi.
ADSL is a super-fast technology that turns an ordinary telephone line into a multitasking access tool. While maintaining the existing telephone service, ADSL also provides data transmission at significantly higher speeds than an ordinary or Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) dial-up service.
ADSL is a dedicated access line to the Internet with a 256 kbps upstream and 512 kbps downstream speed. It is an always-on connection with uninterrupted access to the worldwide web and instant e-mail messaging.
The service is charged at a flat rate with a differential for residential and business customers. The monthly ADSL line rental is R680 for residential customers and R800 for business customers, in addition to the normal monthly telephone line rental (R67,72 for residential customers and R89,97 for business customers) and call charges.
There is a once-off installation charge of R404. ADSL users also require a special modem and surge protection unit. Modems and surge protection units are available from Telkom, or may be purchased from external suppliers. Telkom charges R2469 for an Ethernet modem or R2067 for a USB modem.
Prospective users can check ADSL connection availability in their area and order the service online at www.adslspeedfreak.net . This site also has a list of modems approved by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA). A toll free number, 0800ADSL00, also gives access to the Telkom Business Call Centre that handles all orders.
The USB modem simply plugs into the USB port on the computer while the Ethernet modem requires a network card and offers concurrency, where more than one computer can be used on the same ADSL line simultaneously.
To obtain maximum benefit from a Telkom ADSL line, the user's PC must meet the minimum specification. Typically for users of Windows 2000, this is a Pentium 2 with a processor speed of at least 166 MHz and 128 MB of Ram, 100 MB storage and a CD drive. Telkom's web site www.Telkom.co.za lists a variety of other PC and software configurations suitable for ADSL.
ADSL customers can use any ISP that is connected to the Telkom ADSL network.
Making the announcement, Telkom's Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Nombulelo Moholi, said ADSL had taken off in South Africa with footprints now covering all major metropolitan locations of the country.
Telkom began the move into the world of high speed "broadband to the home with its new ADSL service in August last year.
"The strategy to start slowly with a limited introduction, gaining valuable experience in all areas of providing high quality and sophisticated services, has paid off. Now that the groundwork has been laid, the benefits of high speed Internet can be enjoyed in all metropolitan areas," Moholi said
ADSL is an acronym for Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line. It is an always-available, flat-rated access service to the Internet. It uses a modem technology that turns an ordinary telephone line into a multitasking tool.
While maintaining the existing telephone service, ADSL will in addition provide data transmission at higher speeds than an ordinary or ISDN dial-up service. ADSL has an uplink speed of 256 kbps and a downstream of 512 kbps.
Customers using ADSL do not have to fear that being on the Internet for a long time will increase their telephone bills. Residential customers are charged a fixed amount of R680 per month with no call charges for the Internet connection.
This charge is over and above the normal telephone rental and call charges. The business ADSL monthly rental charge is R800 00.
There is a once-off installation charge of R404. ADSL users however also require a special modem and surge protection unit. Modems and surge protection units are available from Telkom or may be purchased from external suppliers. Visit www.telkom.co.za and click on the ADSL banner to obtain a list of ICASA approved modems.
Telkom charges for modems are R2469 for an Ethernet modem or R2067 for a USB modem. The USB modem simply plugs into the USB port on the computer while the Ethernet modem requires a network card and offers concurrency, in other words more than one computer can be used on the same ADSL line.
To obtain maximum benefit from a Telkom ADSL line, the user's PC must meet the minimum specification, typically for users of Windows 2000, a Pentium 11 with a processor speed of at least 166 MHz and 128 MB of Ram, 100 MB storage and a CD drive. The Telkom web site (www.telkom.co.za and click on the ADSL banner) lists a variety of other PC and software configurations.
To maintain a quality service at all times, Telkom ADSL customers have a cap of 3Giga Byte throughput.
"The fact that we are situated in South Africa means that international bandwidth is purchased at a premium and not unlimited," said Moholi.
The 3 GB volume cap protects users from a small minority of people who abuse the service by using it for purposes it is not intended for. "It ensures that ADSL users enjoy the full ADSL Internet experience," Moholi said.
To put the cap in perspective, at 3GB one could download 4 full-length movies or over 500 songs a month.
ADSL customers can use any ISP that is connected to the Telkom ADSL network. The ISP portion is charged separately and is in addition to the ADSL access and line rental charges. Telkom Internet offers two innovative ISP products Prolog and Prolog plus. More information on Telkom's Prolog and Prolog plus can be found on www.telkomsa.net.
To check if ADSL is available in your area and to order the service on line visit www.telkom.co.za (click on ADSL banner). A toll free number 0800 ADSL 00 (0800 237 500) will give access to the business call centre that handles all orders and customer enquiries.
"Soon Telkom will supplement its ADSL service with a Satellite service that will bring always-available, flat-rated access to the Internet within reach of rural areas", Moholi said.
ADSL has become a major discussion point in the media, driven by a few customers who are dissatisfied with the service. Commenting on the criticism of the service Telkom's Steven White, Executive for Product Development said, that most of its nearly 10 000 customer base have no problems with ADSL and in fact experience the real value that ADSL brings, always available fast internet.
ADSL, which stands for Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line, is an access product used to connect to Internet Service Providers (ISP's) via the South African Internet Exchange (SAIX). The ADSL access service is based on the following value propositions:
Access speed Fast access with down loads at 512 kbps and uploads at 256 kbps.
Always available connection The connection is not dialled up, but is always available except for session timeout after 24 hours. This was introduced to enable Telkom to determine daily usage in order to measure and manage the volumes uploaded and downloaded. This session timeout also ensures that dynamic IP addresses are assigned. Session timeout will occur 24 hours after previous login. Customers can login immediately after being disconnected. In addition, the ADSL session will also be disconnected after idling for sixty minutes. A click on the mouse will re-establish the connection.
Flat rated service There are no dial-up (usage) costs. The only access charge is the R680 per month subscription (R800 for business)
Simultaneous Voice and Data Telephone calls are still possible while on the Internet, no business connection
"ADSL is targeted at the small business and higher end of the residential market that has a moderate volume of Internet traffic and requires an always available service. That is what Telkom ADSL offers. The service is not designed to offer bandwidth intensive communications such as peer-to-peer applications (e.g. fasttrack, gnutella, napster, kazaa, e-donkey etc.) for downloads, which incidentally are the applications used by most of people who are complaining about the service," White said.
The service is designed to offer premium Internet surfing (HTTP), email (SMTP) and file transfer protocol applications
The rollout of ADSL in South Africa has proceeded smoothly with the service now available in the main metropolitan areas.
"From the launch day, the Telkom ADSL access product has been limited to a monthly 3GB cap. While we only implemented the cap much later, it was always a condition of service," White said.
The monthly 3 Giga Byte volume cap applies to all ADSL subscribers, and is enforced by all ISPs providing the service. It has also created a debate in the media, but upon reflection it appears to come from those users for whom ADSL is not the ideal solution for their needs.
"ADSL is a shared service; the more subscribers the slower the Internet download speeds on the international link. That is why we carefully balance the number of users versus available bandwidth. It is also a key reason for capping. The 3 GB cap protects users from a small minority of people who abuse the service and use it for purposes it was not intended for. Capping ensures that most customers will enjoy the true ADSL experience of fast Internet. Coupled with this, the performance of international servers will also affect download speeds. The fact that we are situated in South Africa means that international bandwidth is purchased at a premium and not unlimited," he said.
On the International pipe, Telkom's SAIX has prioritised surfing, email and file transfer protocols. Bandwidth intensive protocols such as peer-to-peer applications (e.g fasttrack, gntella, napster, kazaa, e-donkey etc) are afforded a lower priority and as such will perform worse than a standard dial-up under high international load conditions. This has been implemented to provide the majority of ADSL customers with fast Internet experience.
The volume capping and prioritisation of the international pipe is done at the wholesale level to ensure that all ISP customers enjoy the ADSL experience of fast always-available Internet.
SAIX is working on the introduction of a less shaped international pipe that will be offered to ISP's to meet the needs of customers who have high bandwidth applications. This will be at an additional premium to the current service.
The 3 GByte cap is measured on total usage, both local and international users who exceed the cap are redirected to a more limited international pipe. This will have the result that these users receive a slow international throughput.
Recent statistics show that very few customers reach their monthly cap. ADSL users who require more than 3GB monthly can order a second username and password from their ISP's providing them with an additional 3GB per month.
To manage ADSL usage, Telkom has - for Telkom Prolog and Prolog Plus users - introduced a Usage Tracker with the option of receiving a daily email to inform you of the usage over the past 24 hours. There are also various graphic options.
Based on feedback received, Telkom has implemented a caching server to increase international Internet access performance. HTTP (Browsing), RTSP (Real Time Streaming Protocol) and MMS (Microsoft Multimedia Streaming) are being cached currently. The cache will be used automatically and no configuration is required.
Telkom has enhanced its Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) offering by introducing a free modem bundle today. This is expected to enable more South Africans to enjoy the benefits of high-speed Internet access at more affordable installation rates.
The enhancement to Telkom?s market-endorsed ADSL offering enables a customer to get connected to broadband Internet access for R404 on a 24-month contract. The new contract package includes a free modem and the opportunity for customers to choose an ISP of their choice as this portion is charged separately. TelkomInternet offers ISP products Prolog and Prolog Plus.
The new package comprises upfront installation at R404 - VAT inclusive - which is payable on the first bill. Customers can then choose a free ADSL modem of their choice, which, according to current market prices, translates into a saving of about R1 500.
Customers will be expected to sign a 24-month contract. The monthly rental for ADSL residential customers is R680, VAT inclusive, and R800, VAT inclusive, for business customers. Penalties apply for early contract cancellations.
The customers, who buy their modem from any other outlets, can still order the ADSL service at standard published rates.
Telkom?s Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Nombulelo Moholi, said: ??Telkom has taken another step to reduce the entry cost to broadband Internet access for all South Africans.
??Research has shown that current ADSL customers surf 70 to 80 percent more compared with when they were using a dial-up connection. Telkom took the trend to heart and decided to advance the customer?s experience of the Internet.??
Telkom launched ADSL in 2002. ADSL is an always-available, flat-rated access service to the Internet. ADSL uses a modem technology that turns an ordinary telephone line into a multi-tasking tool.
Customers can order the service via by calling the business call centre on 10217, or by visiting a Telkom Customer Service Branch.
Moholi said offering customers a package with a 24-month contract and a free modem at the same price as the standard monthly ADSL product would attract many who saw the upfront investment in a modem as a barrier to entry.
"Telkom is advancing its efforts to offer customers holistic solutions for both voice and data," Moholi concluded.
Telkom today launched an unshaped version of TelkomInternet powered by ADSL, offering customers unshaped international bandwidth with a 4Giga Byte (GB) monthly volume cap.
''Feedback from customers indicates those at the higher end of the scale want more immediate access to a wide range of multimedia services. With the ADSL 4 GB Unshaped service, TelkomInternet is now able to meet market needs by offering a service in which all protocols share the available bandwidth equally,'' Steven White, Telkom's Product Development Executive said.
Niche users, for example, telecommuters, will be able to build secure VPN's to their corporate headquarters elsewhere in the world, while gamers can connect to any gaming server anywhere in the world.
The current shaped ADSL service suits users who want to access the Internet for normal Internet usage. It gives priority to HTTP, the protocol designed for surfing the web or retrieving e-mail and has a 3 GB monthly volume cap.
Telkom has gained valuable experience in the rollout of broadband services in South Africa's major metropolitan areas. "The ADSL footprint now covers all major metropolitan locations in South Africa. The introduction of new equipment (Mini Dslams) has enabled us to extend the access of ADSL to areas that are served by optic fibre cabling" White said.
The cost of access to ADSL will remain the same at R680 for residential customers and R800 for Business Customers. Customers who sign a two year contact are offered the ADSL bundle which includes a free modem valued at over R1500.
Telkom offers two new ISP packages: Prolog Unshaped at R879.30 and Prolog Plus Unshaped at R902.30 monthly..
The 4 GB cap is set on a monthly basis. A subscriber's usage is set to zero on the first day of every month and does not get carried over to the next month. Similar to the 3GB service, the 4GB is also measured on up and downloads combined and includes both national and international traffic. Once the 4GB cap is reached, a subscriber will be disconnected from the ADSL network.
This means Internet access over an ADSL connection will no longer be possible. Subscribers will however still have the option to access the Internet on a normal dial-up connection with a dial-up modem. Should the customer choose to access the internet via a dial-up connection normal Telkom per second tariffs will apply, and the traffic usage won't be allocated towards their 4GB allocated bandwidth. Customers who require more than 4 GB per month can buy an additional Prolog or ProLog Plus unshaped package.
The idle and absolute timeouts imposed on the current 3GB shaped service will stay the same for the new 4GB unshaped service, where the idle timeout is set to one hour and absolute timeout is set to 24 hours. IP addresses will be allocated dynamically as with the current 3GB shaped service.
Key features of TelkomInternet powered by ADSL portfolio include access to value-added services such as e-mail and web hosting, free access to the online usage tracker at http://adsl.telkomsa.net and optional security software from Secur-IT on www.cybertrademall.co.za.. TelkomInternet also offers a free anti spamming tool.
"Telkom ADSL is a popular Internet access product for small business says Nombulelo Moholi, Telkom's Chief Sales and marketing Officer.
Currently over 50% of all orders received are from small business, Moholi said. It is not surprising that entrepreneurs sign up for ADSL because it gives them full control of their Internet costs, fixed every month at R800. There are no hidden dial-up charges as ADSL provides an always-available connection leaving the telephone line free to make or receive calls. The recently introduced ADSL bundle, offering a free modem if a two-year contract is signed, has made ADSL as an Internet access product even more attractive.
Customers can use an Internet Service Provider of choice or opt for Telkom Internet. Telkom Internet offers a 3GB cap shaped package and a 4GB cap unshaped package. The shaped package is optimised for users who like to browse and use email applications, while the 4 GB cap shaped package favours users who mainly use bandwidth intensive applications such as gaming.
As ADSL is a shared service, capping has contributed much to the success of the service as it protects users against bandwidth hogs thus giving every user a good ADSL experience unlike other services on the market that are uncapped. Users who require more bandwidth can buy additional 3 GB segments to supplement the bandwidth package with Telkom's standard offering.
Telkom today introduced HomeDSL384, a more economical ADSL service for home users that offers an always-available connection to the Internet at a fixed monthly fee of R449. Unlike dial-up services there are no recurring call costs.
Nombulelo Moholi, Telkom's Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, said: "HomeDSL384 closes the gap between ISDN128 and ADSL512. Market research shows that many home users want the convenience of an always available connection to the Internet at a fixed monthly cost, and would welcome an entry level ADSL product.
"Telkom has responded with HomeDSL 384 designed for the home user only. Home users also have a 512 kbps access service available at R680 a month. This has now been rebranded as Home DSL512."
HomeDSL384 offers and 384 kbps downstream and 128kbps upstream bandwidth, considerably faster than ISDN at a marginally higher cost. The advantage is that DSL services "sit" on top of an existing telephone line allowing normal use of the line for telephone calls or fax communication, yet with Internet always available.
The standard modem bundle available on the higher bandwidth product is also available in this new option, and is subject to a two-year contract. This bundle is very successful because it eliminates barriers to entry and is offered irrespective of the Internet Service Provider (ISP) chosen by the customer. Installation cost is a once-off R404. The migrating fee between the different ADSL services is a once-off amount of R250.
ADSL access services require customers to subscribe to an ISP service from a provider of their own choice. Telkom also offers its range of ISP services.
For more information, or to order DSL services, call 10219 or visit the Telkom web pages on www.telkom.co.za and follow the links.
Telkom has launched the TelkomInternet powered by ADSL Standard package, offering customers a combination of e-mail and always-available Internet services at reduced cost.
The TelkomInternet powered by ADSL Standard package is a no-frills package offered with the 2 GB (gigabyte) Shaped service. It includes one e-mail account and 5 aliases, one username and password. The package does not allow concurrent sessions, and does not include web space.
The Internet package, which costs R199 per month, complements Telkom's recently launched HomeDSL384 service, which offers home users an always-available connection to the Internet at a fixed-monthly fee of R449.
"Market research has shown that there is a requirement for a more suitable package that complements the recently introduced Telkom HomeDSL 384 access service," says Nombulelo Moholi, Telkom's Chief Sales and Marketing Officer.
"The combination of both services provides customers with always-available access to the Internet for under R700 per month. And unlike dial-up services there are no recurring call costs," Moholi said.
Telkom's strategy is focused on customer retention and growth, which allows the group the flexibility in responding to evolving customer needs.
"Telkom's approach encourages and fosters the constant re-invention of product and service offerings. With this latest introduction customers have the ability to configure their always-available Internet package to suit their individual needs," Moholi said.
Should the allocated 2 GB bandwidth be exhausted before month end, the service will not be available over the ADSL network until the start of the next month. Customers will however have the option of buying additional usernames or use the analogue dial-up service, which is included in the package.
The analogue dial-up is also a handy addition for travellers, allowing them access to the Internet and their emails from any telephone. Both the TelkomInternet powered by ADSL Standard package, and the existing packages, can be used with HomeDSL 384 access providing customers with an additional choice.
Telkom has introduced a 4 Port Ethernet interface for customers who require up to four PC?s to be connected to their Telkom ADSL connection. The modem offers reliability and is a complete solution as a home or office router.
When configured as a Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol servers and client (DHCP), it will assign an IP address to every connected PC and acts as the only externally recognised Internet device on a local area network. With built-in Network Access Translation (NAT), the unit serves as an Internet firewall, protecting networks from being accessed by outside users. It also allows worry-free access to the new generation broadband Internet.
The default factory setting is set to bridge mode, which means that only the PPPoE client software supplied by Telkom needs to be loaded on the computer to enable the use of this modem.
The unit is supplied with a comprehensive user guide. The cost of the 4 port ADSL router is R999. Customers who order any of the ADSL products like HomeDSL 384, HomeDSL512 or BusinessDSL 512 on a two-year contract will get the modem free of charge.
The Telkom 4 Port ADSL router replaces the Ethernet 1 port modem. With 4 ports there is no need to purchase a mini router to connect more than 1 PC.
Visit www.telkom.co.za for more information about the various ADSL access products and TelkomInternet products.
Telkom has introduced an online password management tool for its TelkomInternet powered by ADSL and TelkomInternet powered by Satellite products.
The service is free of charge and will assist customers in protecting the integrity of their always-available Internet connection. Unlike dial-up services, both ADSL and Satellite services are always-available connections which can be exploited by hackers.
"The username and password is the responsibility of the customer and should never be shared with anyone," says Nombulelo Moholi, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer. "I recommend that customers change their password on a regular basis to protect against unauthorised use. The new facility is in response to suggestions received from our customer base which has prompted us to develop a solution that is hosted on a secure server. The online tool will provide you with the convenience of changing your password online as often as you wish.This facility is available on www.telkomsa.net under member services. If you are a new customer we advise you to change your password at your earliest convenience to ensure protection against unauthorised use of your Internet account," Moholi said.
ADSL will continue to dominate the broadband communications market in urban areas in the near future, but is likely to be challenged by fixed wireless systems as bandwidth requirement increases.
So predicts Steve Lewis, Telkom's executive for technical product development.
Speaking at SatCom Africa 2005, the 8th annual satellite communications at the Sandton Convention Centre, Lewis said broadband communications had become important strategic assets and debating points the world over today.
He said decisions about how and where to expand, what technologies to deploy, and which business models to apply were required to deliver the most feasible, affordable and promising broadband applications.
To compete effectively, Telcos are required to offer a variety of applications and services to the enterprise, SMME, small office/home office (SOHO) and residential market segments.
To cater for the ever-increasing bandwidth, he said, continuous evolution was necessary.
Lewis said convergence was being fuelled by the common requirement for multiple applications and services over fewer technology platforms in order to effectively fulfil the broadband vision.
"Standardization, mobility, convenience and an increase in consumer literacy have driven the need for more applications and services, which in turn have led to an increase in the demand for greater bandwidth.
"Increased competition, together with a change in the regulatory landscape, has resulted in a general upswing in the available service offerings. Improved economic conditions have also resulted in greater spending on broadband services by consumer and business segments," said Lewis.
Although hardware costs have come down and import duties on IT goods relaxed somewhat, the cost of international bandwidth still remained relatively high due to content being hosted mainly outside the African continent, he said.
Recently, fixed wireless access technologies have emerged that promise greater coverage distances with the ability to reach subscribers in near line of sight conditions. Where fixed line infrastructure is inadequate, wireless solutions may provide all the "last mile" services.
Telkom is currently field-trialing WiMAX technology in the Pretoria area.
He described WiMAX as "one of the more exciting technologies to find global acceptance". Based on the IEEE 802.16 standard, it presents new market opportunities to operators.
WiMAX is intended to be a standards-based platform, enabling economies of scale. Initially, it will complement ADSL as a fixed wireless IP service with an evolution towards portability and mobility as customer devices become smaller and more convenient.
Looking ahead to 2008 and beyond, Lewis said Telkom anticipated satellite business to be driven predominantly by applications.
"Falling equipment and bandwidth prices will lead to greater penetration in the large, medium and small office/home office market segments. In Africa, an increase in usage by governments and multinationals is expected," he said.
According to Lewis, each of the different terrestrial and satellite wireless and wire-line broadband solutions available had their advantages and disadvantages and complementary positioning in the telecommunications market.
Telkom is to reduce its ADSL prices on 1 March 2005 to give customers value for money as part of new broadband initiatives unveiled by CEO Sizwe Nxasana today.
These include the launch of HomeDSL 192 for residential customers, and the commercial rollout of the Telkom T-Zone service in partnership with Wireless G following a successful WiFi trial.
BusinessDSL 512 will be reduced from R800 to R699 and HomeDSL 512 from R680 to R599 a month. HomeDSL 384, rated by the MyADSL website as the best value for money in the broadband arena, remains unchanged at R449.
Nxasana said ADSL had reached the critical mass of over 50 000 customers since its introduction in August 2002. ADSL prices have not increased since then. "The milestone of 50 000 customers has enabled us to announce these price reductions," said Nxasana.
Telkom has learnt many lessons about ADSL in the past few years, including the fact that various groupings of customers require different access offerings and that capping the service to protect its integrity allows every customer to enjoy ADSL's fast Internet experience.
"We continually evaluate our costing, and with the anticipated growth we expect further price adjustments going forward," said Nxasana.
Another Telkom broadband initiative is the launch of HomeDSL 192 for home users who want to have an always-available Internet connection at a fixed monthly rate, but not fast access offered by HomeDSL384 and HomeDSL 512.
HomeDSL 192 offers a downstream of 192 kbps and an upstream of 64 kbps. At R329 per month, customers can allow their kids to surf the Internet as much as they like without the worry of running up high telephone bills, as is the case with ordinary dial-up access services. The HomeDSL 192 product is available in a bundle, which offers a free modem on a two-year contract.
The company also launched Telkom T-Zone as a commercial service at R1,50 per minute, with Wireless G as a service and channel provider.
Telkom's Chief Sales and Marketing Officer Nombulelo Moholi said the partnership combined Telkom's vast infrastructure with Wireless G's internationalised WiFi platform, facilitating an inclusive model for all South African telecommunications players.
"The agreement includes the provision of the wireless G hotspot platform at all our T-Zone sites. The Telkom-Wireless G partnership is leading the South African broadband industry with a world-class mobile service offering customers global roaming," she said.
Telkom is also working closely with Vodacom to offer a T-Zone package to Vodacom subscribers soon.
From 22 March, ADSL 512 customers will have free 30-minute sessions on T-Zone - 8 free sessions for HomeDSL 512 customers and 10 free sessions for BusinessDSL 512 customers per month.
Telkom is also rolling out a range of High Speed Internet Access (HSIA) products focused on business travellers and hotel guests. Trials were conducted nationally in partnership with the Southern Sun Hotels Group to introduce HSIA across fixed line and wireless solutions, providing guests with convenient high-speed connectivity in their rooms and in public areas.
Holiday Inn Garden Court in Hatfield, Pretoria, was the first to use the technology commercially in the national rollout by Southern Sun hotels. In addition to having convenient wireless HSIA in public areas, guests enjoy affordable rapid Internet connectivity from fixed line HISA solutions in their rooms, regardless of location.
"There are exciting times ahead for broadband. We are also working on faster ADSL access speeds for business customers and expect to introduce this before mid year," said Moholi.
Increasing demand for speedy and always-available Internet access in South Africa has seen Telkom's ADSL's subscriber base surging from 50 000 to 60 000 in the last two months.
And the tally of prospective ADSL customers is rising every day as shown by Telkom's online demand forecasting approach to evaluate demand, with applicants registering their details on the www.telkom.co.za website to be contacted when their exchanges are ADSL-enabled.
The process of equipping Telkom's telephone lines with DSL capability to meet the demand is continuing at a fast pace, with ports now available at about 80% of our lines.
The 20% growth in ADSL customer numbers shows that Telkom's 12% ADSL price reduction announced in February had a positive impact, in addition to our efforts to improve the quality of the ADSL service since its launch in 2002.
Telkom reduced ADSL prices to mark its 50 000 customers milestone, and introduced an entry level HomeDSL 192 offering for R329 per month. The price move was part of Telkom's approach to manage down ADSL costs.
ADSL works on the economies of scale, meaning that prices should come down in real terms as more customers subscribe for the service.
Driving the ADSL growth is the business market, which has realized the benefits of spending less on their ADSL service than on previously billed call units to connect to the Internet.
The provision ADSL service has been the subject of robust public debate, with issues ranging from the capping of the service to the pricing fueling confusion in the market.
This led to the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) gazetting a Section 27 enquiry on the provision of the ADSL service late last year. But much of what led to the ADSL enquiry is water under the bridge now.
Telkom's ADSL service has improved since the original complaints came to the fore eighteen months, with the public opinion swinging in Telkom's favour, particularly on issues such as speed and the quality of service.
ADSL complaints saw the emergence of user groups such as MyADSL, which - despite its initial strong anti-Telkom stance on ADSL - has ranked Telkom's HomeDSL 384 and 512 offerings first and second in South Africa's broadband ratings for the second consecutive ear. Traditionally, Internet access has been provided through normal dial-up connections using the landline or by means of ISDN for customers requiring higher speed.
With the increasing sophistication of customers and their usage of Internet, it became clear that Telkom's basic Internet access offerings needed some enhancement. Telkom listened to customers and introduced access products to meet their needs.
Telkom is not the only provider of fast access Internet services. Users also have a choice of Sentech's MyWireless 128 and 256, WBS's iBurst and Vodacom's 3G - all of which are comparable to Telkom's ADSL service.
Telkom is perturbed by the fact that Icasa has singled out Telkom's ADSL service for what in essence should be an enquiry into the provision of broadband access to the Internet. It should be noted that Sentech's MyWireless service has also received considerable unfavourable public comment. Yet this is not even mentioned in the enquiry. We ask why.
From its launch, Telkom's ADSL has been limited to a basic Internet access monthly cap of 3Gbyte. Although the implementation of the cap was introduced later, the capping of 3 Gbyte was always a condition of the product offering applying to all ADSL subscribers and enforced by all ISPs providing the service. ADSL is a shared access to the Internet.
The capping of ADSL is a functional characteristic of the service, determined by ISPs. This proactive network management tool is a huge consumer benefit as it protects users from the negative effects that a few bandwidth hogs may have on the service.
88% of ADSL users are satisfied with the service, according to an independent research study conducted by Markinor.
Broadband capping is an international norm. Both of BT's (British Telecommunication) 512k services now have a 15GB a month cap, with its 1MB service having a 30GB limit. Other telcos that use capping include Australia's Telstra, Belgium's Belgacom and New Zealand Telecom.
Telkom is aggressively marketing its ADSL services as the most reliable and speedy way for residential and business customers to access the Internet, with more broadband offerings in the pipeline.
Telkom's drive to increase the demand for speedy and always-available Internet access in South Africa has seen its ADSL's subscriber base surging from 50 000 to 60 000 in the last two months.
Steven White, Telkom's Executive for Product Development, says this growth is attributable to Telkom's diversification of its ADSL product offerings.
"We have long ago thrown out the concept of one size fits all and started looking at what the market needs are. Not every one needs high speed, but most people would like an always-available connection to the Internet," said White.
The number of prospective ADSL customers is increasing daily day as shown by Telkom's online demand forecasting approach to evaluate demand, with applicants registering their details on the www.telkom.co.za website to be contacted when their exchanges are ADSL-enabled.
Also continuing at a fast pace is the process of equipping Telkom's exchanges with DSL capability to meet the demand, with ports now available at about 80% of exchanges.
Talking to the media at Futurex 2005, White said there still seemed to be confusion about the difference between Internet Access and Internet ISP services. Upfront, one needs to know the difference between an access provider and an ISP. Some companies like Telkom are both access providers and ISPs. "I am sure the confusion is a legacy from the time Internet was only available by dialling-up an ISP. One already had a Telkom line and only joined an ISP to deliver the Internet services like a mailbox and the ability to surf. For a dial-up user, it is still like that," explained White.
The 20% growth in ADSL customer numbers shows that Telkom's 12% ADSL price reduction announced in February had a positive impact, in addition to our efforts to improve the quality of the ADSL service since its launch in 2002.
ADSL works on the economies of scale, meaning that prices should come down in real terms as more customers subscribe for the service.
Driving the ADSL growth is the business market, which has realised the benefits of spending less on their ADSL service than on previously billed call units to connect to the Internet. "With a wide choice of Telkom ADSL products and several ISP packages, customer can mix and match and opt for a service that suits both their needs and their pocket," said White.
This is the latest product to be launched and aimed at the user who would like an always-available connection at a reasonable speed at a fixed monthly rate. With ADSL there is never a dial-up cost component. It means that you know exactly what your monthly expenditure on the Internet is, even if your kids spend lot of time on the Internet. It is modestly priced at R329 per month. The download speed is 192 kbps and upload is 64 kbps.
This product is double the speed of HomeDSL192 and offers the same advantage. It is more suited for the person who requires a faster up-and-download speed. HomeDSL 384 offers a download at 384 kbps and an upload at 128 kbps. The cost is R449 per month.
This product is for the person who needs even more speed. It offers downloads at 512 kbps and uploads at 286 kbps. The cost is R599
For business, Telkom offers BusinessDSL 512 at a cost of R699.
TelkomInternet powered by ADSL is a Telkom ISP product. It is available in three different packages to suit various requirements users may have. Each ISP has its own offering. The three ISP packages are Telkom Internet Powered by ADSL standard (2GB), advanced (3GB) and premium (4GB unshaped).
If one requires a fast down and upload speed, but only a limited amount of monthly throughput is needed, the HomeDSL 512 with TelkomInternet powered by ADSL standard is the choice. This package would cost R599 for the access and R199 for the ISP package. It will offer upload at 256 kbps and download at 512 kbps with a monthly data throughput of 2 gigabyte.
If the requirement is a larger volume but speed is not of the essence, HomeDSL 384 or HomeDSL 192 would be the answer with TelkomInternet powered by ADSL Advanced. If HomeDSL 384 is used, this will supply upload at 128 kbps and download at 384 kbps with a monthly throughput of 3GByte. The cost is R449 for the HomeDSL384 and R249 for the ISP packages.
The HomeDSL 192 package costs only R329 per month and R249 for the ISP package.
Both TelkomInternetpowered by ADSL standard and advanced are shaped for the best Internet browsing and Email experience. Telkom also offers a 4GB unshaped service called TelkomInternet powered by ADSL Premium. This ISP package was designed with peer-to-peer communication in mind. Telkom's ADSL access service can be ordered telephonically by dialling 0800 237 500 (0800 ADSL 00) or electronically by completing the on-line order form. Please visit www.telkom.co.za.
Telkom today delivered on its promise to reduce ADSL and data prices even further, with the entry-level high-speed Internet access product down to R270 per month.
Prices for International Private Leased Circuits (IPLCs) via the submarine cable and satellite will be reduced by 28%, having decreased by an average of 23% during 2004.
These price reductions will be implemented on 1 August 2005. They form part of Telkom's broadband strategy to manage its ADSL and data costs down to ensure that access barriers to speedy Internet services are lowered, and that the Company responds aggressively to competition on the international traffic front.
Telkom has not increased its ADSL prices since it launched the ADSL service in 2002. On the contrary, the company lowered ADSL prices by an average of 12% in March this year when it reached a 50 000 customer mark, lifting the ADSL subscriber base to a record 67 000 to date.
In pursuit of its objective to manage prices down and promote widespread Internet access, Telkom launched the HomeDSL 192 low-level broadband solution for residential customers at R329 in March this year.
This ADSL product offering will now cost 18% less at R270 per month, allowing customers to surf the Internet and download content faster at this affordable and flat monthly rate.
HomeDSL 384, Telkom's middle-level broadband solution for those residential customers on the faster Internet lane, will be reduced from R449 to R359 a month.
The HomeDSL 512 and BusinessDSL 512 super-fast ADSL products - currently priced R599 and R699 per month respectively - will be reduced to R477 a month.
"Reducing the cost of all our ADSL products will pave the way for our existing customers to migrate to more speedy Internet access options. Equally, this will encourage those who have not yet entered the high-speed Internet space to take advantage of our low-access, yet high-speed HomeDSL 192 broadband solution," said Telkom's Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Nombulelo Moholi.
She said Telkom was mindful of the fact that the price decrease announcement would stimulate demand for the ADSL service, imploring new applicants to bear with the field operations team as they work flat out to improve installation levels. The good news though is that Telkom's ADSL Self-Install trials are nearing completion and would go a long way to assisting customers set up their broadband ADSL connections faster.
She added that Telkom's managed reduction of data and ADSL tariffs was one of the ways the company was contributing to reducing the cost of doing business in South Africa.
"Love them or hate them, Telkom's ADSL is currently the best solution for broadband in South Africa," the SA Computer Magazine (SACM) has found.
A comparative study of South Africa's broadband products published in the magazine's August 2005 edition said Telkom was not without its faults, "but is the best value for money broadband access solution currently available".
It said, in addition to caps of between 3G and 30GB, Telkom's ADSL was a fixed line broadband network access solution, meaning that you can only make use of it at the place where it is installed.
"Even though it sounds as if the costs outweigh that of the other two Internet (wireless network) connection offerings (iBurst and MyWireless), price-wise ADSL is pretty much on par with the other broadband connections available.
"What sets it apart, though, is its reliable download speed and low latency when it comes to online gaming. When we started our Battlefield 2 online game, we had no connection or lag issues, and the service was stable throughout our tests.
"At all our three test venues, the benchmark tests produced almost identical results, and we were impressed with the overall download speed. Another benefit to ADSL is that you can choose the modem you want to use.
"Even though Telkom's ADSL still has many issues, we found that of the three broadband products available locally, ADSL is definitely the best solution if you are looking for an all-round performer," SACM said.
Telkom has not increased its ADSL prices since launch in 2002. It reduced ADSL prices in March and August this year, and launched an entry-level broadband product - HomeDSL 192 retailing at an affordable R270 a month.
Nombulelo Moholi, Telkom's Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, said SACM's broadband tests accurately reflect Telkom's broadband market leadership position in terms of quality, speed and reliability of its ADSL offerings.
"We have invested heavily in our vision and strategy to provide reliable and quality ADSL services at prices that are affordable. The increasing uptake of ADSL products in response to our price reductions bodes well for our commitment to expand the geographic reach of the service, depending on network availability, distance, copper quality, available ports and line sync speed limitations," said Moholi.
Telkom has close to 100 000 ADSL customers. To order your Telkom ADSL product, visit www.telkom.co.za/athome/products/dsl/home_order.html and choose from:
In the short few years that ADSL has been available in South Africa, Telkom as chalked up over
100 000 customers and expects to reach 120 000 customers before the start of the festive season.
The customer base has grown steadily since ADSL was introduced and growth is now taking place at a much faster rate.
"South Africans are developing an appetite for the Internet and see it more and more as a powerful business tool", said Steven White, Telkom's Executive for Product development. "24 hour access to the Internet at a fixed price offers a good value proposition and attracts customers away from dial-up services. ADSL customers do not have to manage account surprises at the end of the month. They know exactly what their monthly Internet access costs are. We expect to reach the 120 000 mark in the next few days and will celebrate this by presenting the 120 000th customer with a Telkom Pocket PC valued at over R7 000", White said.
"The growth of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and the demand for broadband services from Telkom are clear indications that the market is set for a boom, this despite the criticism about the cost of broadband in South Africa," he said.
Commenting on the recent introduction of the Company's usage based billing system; White said that statistics prove many of the ardent critics wrong. "Before usage based billing was introduced on 1 November, ISP's had to buy 3 Gbyte packages while a large proportion of their customers required far less and were paying for bandwidth they did not use. Recent analysis shows that 4% of ADSL customers are responsible for 50% of the traffic. The remaining 96% of customers use an average of 1.4 GB per month, yet are paying for double that. Usage based billing of bandwidth to ISPs allow them to introduce smaller packages at a lower cost. While some ISP's have been vocal in the media, others have introduced innovative new products which are taken up by the market," White said.
"Usage based billing not only ensures that customers get value for what they pay, it also enhances the service for 96 % of the regular users. By nature of the technology, ADSL is a best effort service which places the responsibility on the Telco providing the service to ensure that its customers enjoy the experience that broadband offers", White said.
ADSL is a modem technology that operates over a normal copper line connecting customers to the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network). This means that ADSL sits on top of it and does not interfere with normal voice operation. However the technology has a distance limitation, typical between 3 and 5 kilometres. Some of the new developments that Telkom recently introduced include the mini DSLAM which can be installed in street cabinets and serve a group of customers. Previously these customers would not have been able to be offered an ADSL service because they are too far from the exchange or are connected part of the way by optic fibre.
Telkom offers a number of home DSL products to match customer requirements from HomeDSL 192 to HomeDSL 1024. For business Telkom offers BusinessDSL512 and BusinessDSL 1024.
There will be an overall reduction of 2.1% in Telkom's prices as from today. On 5 June 2006, Telkom filed price adjustments with the Independent Communication Authority of South Africa (ICASA), which were subsequently approved.
Steven Hayward, Telkom's Managing Executive for Retail Marketing, said that although the net impact of the proposed prices will vary among customers, mainly due to the types of services they use, the overall effect will be a reduction in the cost of telecommunications in South Africa.
He added: "If one considers inflationary pressures, in real terms there is a price drop of 5.6%. This indicates Telkom's ongoing commitment to providing affordable access to telephony for all our customers."
Main beneficiaries of Telkom's proposed price changes will be ADSL users who will enjoy a reduction in rentals of up to 32%. The average decrease in ADSL rentals is 24%.
There are also reductions of up to 20% in the monthly rental for residential ISDN services, a decrease of up to 39% in the rates for IPLC's (International Private Leased Circuits) as well as significant cuts in long distance and international call charges.
Local call charges remain unchanged at 59.4 cents, with the per minute rates being 38 cents and 16 cents for Standard and Callmore Time respectively.
Callmore Time for national calls are from 19h00 to 07h00 (Monday to Friday) and from 19h00 on a Friday to 7h00 on Monday morning.
The price of long distance calls have been reduced by 10%. Long distance calls will now cost 72c per minute during Standard Time and 36c per minute during Callmore Time. The minimum charge for long distance calls has also dropped by 10% (8 cents) to 72c.
There is also a 9.9% reduction in the average price per minute of international calls.
DSL 192 customers will automatically be upgraded to an up-to 384kbit/s service, depending on network infrastructure. "Existing DSL 192 users will automatically be upgraded to the 384 DSL service during the course of this month. Customers who are unable to connect (sync) at 384 kbps due to factors such as line length or quality will be accommodated down from 384 kbps in 32 kbps decrements, but not lower than 192 kbps, until the service syncs successfully," explained Hayward.
To further benefit its customers, an average decrease of 9% for Telkom's basket of data products also come into effect today.
However, certain prices were marginally increased. For example, the minimum charges for local PrepaidFone calls go up by 3 cents, while per minute rates increase by 2 cents (Standard Time) and 1 cents (Callmore Time). PrepaidFone monthly line rentals remain unchanged.
While residential rentals for ISDN 2 and ISDN 2a lines will drop by R29.38 and R44.10 respectively, the monthly rental on post-paid analogue lines will increase by R7.64 (residential) and R10.15 (business).
The overall reduction of 2.1%, stated Hayward, clearly demonstrated Telkom's commitment towards customer centricity and making telecommunications even more affordable and accessible.
"However, over and above these reductions, customers should also explore how they could obtain further discounts and greater value by acquiring one of Telkom?s calling plans - Telkom CLOSER (mainly for residential clients) and SupremeCall (mainly targeted at business customers)," concluded Hayward
Telkom Home and BusinessDSL 1024 customers will get a whole lot more from their high-speed DSL access to the Internet as of September 2006 when the DSL 1024 offering will be increased to an up-to 4 megabits per second speed on a trial basis.
The 4 Mbps service will be trialled with all Home and BusinessDSL 1024 customers nationally. Customers on the 1024 service will be upgraded to the highest speed possible up-to 4 Mbps during the trial, while the DSL 1024 access rate of R516.00 excluding line rental and ISP charges will remain. If the trial proves successful Telkom intends replacing the DSL 1024 product with the new service.
"As part of the company's drive towards customer centricity, this is a very important step for us to ensure that the customer experience is constantly enhanced," says Steven Hayward, Telkom Managing Executive for Retail Marketing.
In addition, existing HomeDSL 192 users have already been automatically upgraded to an up-to 384 DSL service at no additional cost says Hayward.
"These changes will pave the way for the provisioning of suitable broadband services for delivery of higher speed applications such as Video-on-demand", says Hayward.
Telkom Broadband, still the fastest broadband service on offer in South Africa today!
Do Broadband, Telkom's new bundled broadband offering, "will revolutionise broadband in South Africa" says Steven Hayward, Managing Executive Retail Marketing.
"The bundle, which combines DSL access and the Internet Service Provider (ISP) Account, also offers consumers huge savings and a host of other value added services to enhance the broadband experience of our customers," adds Hayward.
Telkom recently launched an ADSL Resell wholesale product enabling ISPs and Telkom to combine both ADSL access and the ISP portion in a bundled offering. "This new development has paved the way for us to marry DSL access with our TelkomInternet product, not possible prior to the availability of the wholesale offer," explains Hayward.
Telkom's current entry level DSL offer (DSL up to 384 Kbps service plus a 2 GB Internet) was priced at R444 per month compared to R279 per month for the new Do Broadband entry level product (DSL up to 384 Kbps and a 1 GB Internet account) - a saving of 37%.
Do Broadband Level 2 offers DSL up to 384 Kbps and a 2 GB Internet account for a monthly charge of R364 - a saving of 18%. Do Broadband Level 3 - the top end product - comes with a monthly saving of 12% and offers DSL up to 4 Mbps and a 3 GB Internet account for R675 per month.
Adds Hayward: "With Do broadband we have further simplified the product offerings to make it easier for our customers to understand them. In addition, our up to 4 Mbps trail was very successful and is now commercially available," says Hayward.
Furthermore, Hayward states that there is also the introduction of an "all access Internet account" allowing seamless migration for dial-up or any other access medium to DSL and vice versa.
He adds that Telkom's launch of Do Broadband is another milestone in "our quest to make broadband more affordable, attractive and accessible to all". Other recent milestones include huge price reductions in August 2006, the collapse of the DSL 192 and DSL 384 product, the introduction of Business DSL 384, the up to 4 Mbps trail and a self install DSL offer.
"But it doesn't end there," says Hayward. "Included in the bundle is a Do Portal, your one stop entry point to the web, allowing you to Do Gaming, Do Music, Do Shopping, Do Movies and even Do Education."
Hayward added that the Do Portal will give customers access to a variety of Internet based value added services such as the ability to download the latest music tracks, viewing movie previews, booking tickets online and even going on a virtual game drive by accessing WildEarth on the Do Portal.
The Portal will also give customers access to Encyclopaedia Britannica, Entertainment Africa, Webmail and access to the most comprehensive and popular gaming service in South Africa.
"Besides enabling access to entertainment, the Do Portal also helps to bridge the digital divide in terms of educational content," Hayward adds.
"Since Telkom places a high premium on customer centricity we will continue to offer the most innovative, convenient and cost effective solutions - further enhancing customer experience. Do Broadband is proof of our commitment towards increased customer value and experience," says Hayward.
In its drive to make telecommunications more affordable and accessible, while aligning tariffs with cost and growing our business, Telkom customers - especially DSL subscribers - will benefit from overall price reductions from August 1 this year if price changes filed by Telkom are approved by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA).
"We are reducing our prices again in line with our overall drive to defend and grow our revenues. The proposed price reductions will not only ensure more savings for our existing customers but will also attract new entrants to the broadband experience." says Reuben September, Telkom’s Acting CEO.
The regulatory formula would have allowed Telkom to file a change in the basket of products of 8.7%. Therefore, Telkom could have increased its prices by 8.7% but instead is filing for an overall price decrease of 1.2%.
"That we have kept our increases well within these limits and have filed for an overall price decrease of 1.2% on our basket services, clearly demonstrates our on-going commitment to our customers. In addition, it reflects our determination to make telecommunications more affordable and accessible".
"While the net impact of the proposed prices will vary among customers the overall effect will be a reduction in the cost of telecommunications in South Africa."
The main beneficiaries of the proposed price changes will be DSL users. They will enjoy an average reduction of 18.2% and in the entry level (up to 384 Kbps Access) of 38%. The new broadband offering – the entry level Do Broadband - which combines DSL 384 Kbps access and the Internet Service Provider (ISP) - has also been cut and will cost R199 per month, including VAT, (a 29% reduction). The appointment is in compliance with paragraph 3.59(a) of the Listings Requirements of the JSE Limited.
Business customers of Telkom’s data products will see considerable savings, with an average decrease of 12%. IPLC (International Private Leased Circuits) has been reduced by 30% (cable) and 12% (satellite), Diginet (overall) reduced by 11%, Megalines reduced by 10%, and ATM Express reduced by 10%.
Further good news is the 10% decrease in long distance call charges - 65c per minute, including VAT, during Standard Time and 32.5c per minute, including VAT, during Callmore Time – and a 9% average reduction in International calls.
Those with family or business ties in the UK and USA others, will especially benefit, with calls costing 95c and 85c, including VAT, during Global Peak times and Global Off-peak Times respectively. Calls to neighbouring countries see an average decrease of 15% during peak times and 19% during Global off-peak times.
The minimum charge for local calls remains unchanged at 59.4 cents , including VAT, as does the per minute rate of 38 cents, including VAT, with a small increase in the Callmore rate (from 16c to 17c per minute, including VAT).
However, in certain instances business considerations have dictated price hikes, offset by the reduction in call charges, and include a 12% increase in line rentals. The monthly rental on analogue lines will increase to R111.90, including VAT for residential, and R148.68, including VAT for business.
September says that the reductions in DSL reflect Telkom’s commitment to making broadband more affordable, attractive and accessible, and it is making strides in achieving this. In the first year after launching DSL, Telkom had approximately 20 000 DSL customers. On March 31, 2007, it had over 250 000 subscribers, reflecting the influence of volume on DSL costs.
He says Telkom’s operational plans are well in place to deal with the anticipated increasing DSL demand due to increased volume because of the price reduction. Moreover, approximately 40% of new customers have opted for Self Install. This easy to use new offering allows customers to do the portion of the installation that takes place on their premises themselves.
Over and above the proposed price reductions, customers of the Telkom Closer and Telkom SupremeCall brands (for business) are also enjoying considerable cost savings. The marketplace has welcomed these value-adding products with open arms with close to 289,000 customers signing up for Telkom Closer since the launch.
Although line rental is included in the Closer bundles, the subscription charge will stay the same. In addition, Telkom has enhanced the offering with, among others, 30 free local minutes during standard time on the entry level plan and after these minutes are used up, a lower rate of 49c a minute - a saving of 19 cents. Good news for Closer plans 3, 4 and 5 subscribers is that they now also get preferential rates on international calls, paying only 72c per minute for calls to 30 popular destinations. These rates will apply for peak and off-peak times for calls to fixed-line destinations.
Says September: “For the past five years we have been aligning our prices to be more competitive, and in line with international standards and related cost. They are carefully considered taking the needs of our customers and economies of scale into account.
“Having complied with regulatory prescriptions, Telkom is confident that our proposed price changes will be approved by ICASA,” concludes September.
In its attempts to fast-track ADSL service delivery, Telkom will be launching Broadband Service Assurance Solution (BSAS) Phase 1 in January 2008 to enable wholesale customers (ISP/VANS) to troubleshoot faults on their customer lines and isolate them.
"The BSAS will provide users with remote automated self-help and self-diagnostic tools," said Alphonzo Samuels, Group Executive for Wholesale Sales and Marketing Operations, adding: "ISPs will be able to provide first line maintenance and support capabilities on ADSL access services, thereby improving customer service."
In addition, Samuels said that Telkom's ADSL performance has been very impressive as ADSL subscribers grew by 76.2% to 335,112 from September 2006 to September 2007 and had increased by 31.1% since March 31, 2007 to September 30, 2007.
Stated Samuels: "Through the BSAS solution, ISPs will be able to perform certain fulfillment and assurance functions through their own frontline customer centres. This bodes well for the Company's targeted ADSL penetration of 15% - 20% of fixed access lines by 2011."
He reiterated that Broadband Service Assurance Solution will fast-track ADSL installations and faster fault repairs.
Currently, he explained, wholesale ADSL faults reported by ISPs still enter Telkom's broadband assurance value chain for diagnosis and fault location which is done via Telkom's call centres.
He added that phase 1 of the Broadband Service Assurance Solution will offer ISPs the capability to perform certain remote functions to:
check DSLAM port availability
check special restrictive resources
verify ADSL port status
check broadband status of distribution point
perform synch tests
compile synch statistics
perform port resetting and recreation
perform real time testing of DSLAM ADSL port synchronisation with customer ADSL modem.
"The Company," explained Samuels' "developed the solution so as to improve customer experience and satisfaction."
He further stressed that the solution will enable wholesale customers to perform primary support for their customers with secondary assistance from Telkom.
Samuels concluded that the ISP/VANS will come on board progressively as they become operationally ready.
Current estimates indicate that Telkom is on its way to meeting its target of ADSL customers equating to 15-20% of Telkom's fixed access lines by 2010/2011.
This view was expressed by Alphonzo Samuels, Group Executive for Wholesale Sales and Marketing Operations who said that in most developed countries, broadband penetration ranges from 25% to 50% of fixed lines.
Samuels continued: "Considering our current penetration of just over 7%, we are clearly still in the infancy stage of the broadband maturity curve, with plenty of room to grow."
He said that his confidence is borne out by the latest demand trends in the marketplace, adding: "Our traditional ADSL customer base has been the high LSM groups. While the demand among these groups is still there, it is now also spreading to the middle to lower LSM levels."
Samuels believes that the demand among these "non-traditional" customers is mainly influenced by both the growing use of the Internet in the education system and the value proposition that ADSL offers.
"With outcomes-based education, parents are forced to assist their children with research and, increasingly, schools expect the internet to be used as a research resource. This creates a momentum for ADSL," said Samuels.
Growth is also expected to be stimulated by the commoditisation of ADSL, the Do Broadband offering, the Self-Install Option, ADSL port automation and wholesale services.
Added Samuels: "At this point, we are only selling high-speed internet and have yet to move into value-added services like IPTV, video-on-demand and interactive gaming - these services will stimulate demand for ADSL, especially in the younger market."
He said that young people in particular fully understand the benefits of triple-play and they will be the ones who will push Telkom's customer base to allow the Company to meet its targets.
He pointed out, however, that successfully climbing the ADSL growth curve is not without its challenges, saying that the main challenge is to try to build ahead of demand.
"Demand is starting to come from areas not historically pre-provisioned for ADSL, notably the traditional Black, Coloured and Indian 'townships'. Although there has been some penetration in townships, this has mainly been around shopping centres and business parks," explained Samuels.
The demand is also coming from the residential areas, where the Company does not have pre-existing infrastructure in place.
"An important step forward in matching supply with demand has been the creation of Telkom's Broadband Register. Where there is demand but no infrastructure, the intelligence goes into the Broadband Register, which is fed into our build programme so that we are able to prioritise more effectively and efficiently," said Samuels.
He explained that the build programme itself consists of two technology options. Where there is sufficient demand, we use fibre to the node, which puts an ADSL point of presence closer to customers. On the other hand, if there is sufficient demand but customers are outside the cable footprint, Telkom will deploy WiMAX technology.
"We will continue to seek various strategies aimed at increasing customer satisfaction in our efforts at seeking increased ADSL penetration," concluded Samuels.
In its ongoing endeavours to improve service experience, Telkom is embarking on a pilot project to test the increased upload speed of its Fastest DSL product that can download at speeds of up to 4096 kbps. This trial started on 1 February 2008.
The top end ADSL offering (Fastest DSL) was introduced in September 2006 and Telkom's ADSL 1024 kbps customers were automatically upgraded to this new access product. This allowed customers to synchronise to a maximum downstream bit rate of 4096 kbps, depending on line lengths and copper quality with a minimum downstream synch rate of 640 kbps.
Hailing the importance of this value-add component to the customer, Marius Mostert, Group Executive for National Infrastructure Provisioning, said: "This will improve the service experience of the Fastest DSL product by increasing the maximum upload synch rate and effectively reduce response times."
Mostert said that the pilot seeks to increase the upload synch rate from (between) 256 - 384 kbps uplink, to (between) 256 - 640 kbps uplink synch rate.
Continued Mostert: "It is furthermore anticipated that the continued upgrade of these services be managed based on the results obtained, and by gradually increasing the footprint over time in order to control the effects expected."
He concluded that the pilot (and associated analysis) should be concluded by the end of March 2008.
Owing to the success and positive impact of the Broadband Service Assurance Solution (BSAS) Phase 1, Telkom has decided to make it available to all ISPs and VANS providers, regardless of whether they re-sell ADSL or not. This allows any ADSL Customer to phone and report any Internet - ADSL fault to their ISP. "Initially, we developed this solution to benefit both ISP and VANS providers that resell ADSL. But due to the success we have witnessed since the launch, in January 2008, we decided to extend it to all the ISPs and VANS providers," said Alphonzo Samuels, Group Executive for Wholesale Sales and Marketing Operations. He added that the intent of the BSAS is to improve customer experience and satisfaction with the ADSL product, as it will enable Service Providers to provide a much improved service to their ADSL customer base. ISPs will be able to:
inform their customers of the ADSL port availability and access speeds a customer can expect.
interrogate their customers' ADSL lines to determine if the modem is synchronising with the DSLAM.
know about known network outages and how they affect the ADSL customer base.
enter a customer directory number to confirm whether that particular service is affected by a confirmed network outage.
log ADSL faults on behalf of a customer and view progress of faults on customers' behalf.
These capabilities are available to all ISPs and VANS providers. This allows any ADSL customer to phone their ISP about any problems they are experiencing. Even if the ISP is convinced that the problem is related to the ADSL service (supplied by Telkom) the ISP can log the fault on behalf of the Customer who has called in. This method of fault reporting allows the Customer to deal with only one service provider and obtain superior service from their ISP. Continued Samuels: "Telkom's objective is to empower all our Internet Service Providers to perform some Service Assurance functions, such as testing on Telkom's ADSL network. BSAS gives them a view into our network to see confirmed network failures." Samuels said that ADSL Re-Sellers will access additional capabilities which include:
the stabilisation of ADSL services.
the re-activation of the Self-Install Option (SIO).
access to service status information (Active, Suspended, SIO statuses, etc.).
complete service re-creation (or reconfiguration of the service on the DSLAM).
He concluded that Telkom will always endeavour to improve customer service so that customers get value for their money.
Continuing with its drive to enhance the affordability and accessibility of telecommunications, and adhering to its stated principle of customer centricity, Telkom today filed its 2008 tariff adjustment with the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA).
The Price Control Formula implemented by ICASA to limit the extent of the price adjustments uses the formula"Consumer Price Index (CPI) minus 3.5% plus carry-over". In April 2008, the CPI was 11.1%. The regulatory formula would have allowed Telkom to file an overall increase of 17.2% in the basket of products and services. Telkom has instead decided to submit an overall increase of only 2.4%. Compared to the CPI used in the tariff filing, customers will experience a decrease in real terms of 8.7%.
"Pricing is a key element of the value proposition and our pricing strategy is aimed at improving our competitiveness in areas where competition is expected to intensify and where arbitrage opportunities exist," says Godfrey Ntoele, Telkom's Group Executive, National Sales and Marketing Operations.
Pending ICASA approval, the tariff filing - which sets out the key tariff changes - will become effective on 1 August 2008.
The filing makes provision for call charges to remain unchanged, with the exception of local call and international charges. Call charges that will not be increased include long distance, outgoing fixed-line to mobile destinations, outgoing calls to other licensed operators and public payphones.
The minimum charge for post-paid local calls (0-50 kilometres) will increase by 9.4%, while the per-second tariff for local calls during standard time will increase by 3.1% and during Callmore time by 9.2%. With the proposed tariff adjustments the minimum charge for local and long distance post-paid calls will be the same.
For customers who subscribe to SupremeCall and Telkom Closer calling plans with pure-per-second bundled offers, the 2008 filing is good news as the proposed minimum charge will not have any impact on them.
Further good news is to be found in the international arena where the overall adjustment is 0.2%. Tariffs to certain destinations will increase (such as China), while call charges to other destinations will decrease. Two examples of the reduction in telecommunications charges are calls to the United Kingdom and the United States. In both instances call charges to fixed-line destinations will be reduced by 5%, and will only cost 90 cents per minute (including VAT) during peak time and 80 cents per minute (including VAT) during Global off-peak time.
Even though all residential and business installation charges, as well as analogue and ISDN Basic Rate rental will increase by 11%, customers subscribing to ISDN Primary Rate will not be affected by the proposed increases. The line rental for PrepaidFone will also remain unchanged. This includes Telkom's popular Waya-Waya service (which enables a customer to remain connected for an entire year by paying an annual upfront fee).
Ntoele says Telkom's stated objective of growing the data business has resulted in the company filing an average decrease of 7% on data products in the basket. "Our broadband customers will also be pleased to hear that our submission makes provision for the monthly subscription charges for ADSL, Do Broadband and Telkom Internet to remain unchanged," says Ntoele.
Customers who subscribe to calling plans (of which there are currently in excess of 451 000) have not experienced any price increases since the Telkom CLOSER suite of plans were first introduced more than two years ago. During this period the Telkom CLOSER value proposition was enhanced a number of times through initiatives like pure per-second billing for fixed to mobile calls and discounted international rates.
Although the Telkom CLOSER bundles are affected by proposed tariff adjustment, the value proposition will increase as the calling plans have been enhanced with, among others, 60 free local internet minutes during CallMore time on the entry level Telkom CLOSER 1 and 2 plans and an increase of the 1000 free minutes to 1300 free minutes national standard time for the Telkom CLOSER 3, 4 & 5 plans.
Telkom's customer centricity drive has resulted in the Company developing a number of solutions that provide great value for money.
Within the SMME sector SupremeCall indeed reigns supreme by enabling customers to save up to 25% with pure-per-second billing on all call types for an upfront monthly Rand value.
Corporate and Global customers have access to bundled and customised bundled solutions that offer pure-per-second billing and substantial discounts on most voice calls. These plans are volume and term based with increased discounts as the term and volume increases.
The Telkom CLOSER plans too, offer excellent value for money. Telkom CLOSER Plan 3, for example, provides customers with 1 300 free minutes, pure-per-second billing for fixed to mobile calls, free calls for up to one hour during Callmore time and international calls to the 30 most popular destinations at only 72 cents per minute.
"As in the past, we have complied with regulatory stipulations and we are optimistic that ICASA will approve the proposed tariff changes" says Ntoele.
When Telkom say they provide services "up to" a certain broadband speed, whether it is "up to 384kbps", "up to 512kbps" or "up to 4096kbps", you can be assured that at least 80% of the users will achieve the advertised speeds.
For quite some time now the market has been rife with speculation regarding Telkom's broadband speed claims and what Telkom may or may not advertise. Telkom therefore commissioned independent research firm Frost & Sullivan, who specialise in the ICT sector, to conduct a study into Telkom's ADSL access speeds.
Telkom is proud of the fact that in all of the tested cases, 80% of the Telkom subscribers achieved the maximum synchronisation speed!
In fact it was found that more than 98% of our "up to 384" and "up to 512kbps" customers achieved the advertised synchronization speeds.
Telkom's ADSL access service is widely recognised as offering high quality broadband throughput and speeds that live up to international standards. Most advertising authorities (as is the case with South Africa's Advertising Standards Authority) and regulators require that, before a claim based on throughput speed can be made, 80% of subscribers must be found to be able to connect at the speed stated in the "up to" claims.. The finding by Frost and Sullivan was so conclusive that the Advertising Standards Authority agreed to overturn an earlier ruling against Telkom, effectively thereby finding in Telkom's favour and that Telkom may advertise its ADSL access services with reference to the expected throughput speeds.
The recent use of a homing pigeon by a KZN-based call-centre service provider to transfer data has reference.
A few points require clarification. It must be noted that Telkom’s only involvement by way of service provisioning is the actual ADSL access lines. Contrary to speculation, the customer has an up-to 512kbps service at his Howick site from where the “race” commenced – and not Telkom’s up-to 4Mbps ADSL service.
Furthermore, it must be highlighted that Telkom is not the customer’s Internet Service Provider (ISP). Consequently, Telkom is unaware of what services, Service Level Agreements (SLAs), throttling, capping arrangements, etc exist between the customer and his ISP. These are all considerations that will impact the customer’s throughput speeds, especially in view of the fact that their network traffic travels across the public internet via a private ISP.
The ADSL service, in this application, represents a best-effort, unmanaged service which, as was highlighted to the customer during at least five previous meetings, is not the ideal option for inter-connecting Call-Centres. Having understood the nature of the customer’s business, Telkom advised on alternative means of connectivity which the customer has not, to date, accepted. These included a fully managed IP network solution that is more suited to their specific requirement of transporting large amounts of critical data between their sites and their head-office.
Telkom notes with interest that the customer has validated the fact that their choice of technology in the form of ADSL is not suited to the specific business applications that they currently use.
It must be re-iterated that Telkom has endeavoured to convey this view to the customer on several occasions over the past two years and presented alternative solutions which the customer has not embraced. Nevertheless, the Company is still amenable to further present its tailored solutions that will better address the customer’s needs.
One further needs to question the intentions of the customer, as any commercial enterprise is obligated by corporate governance considerations to secure information and data in their possession as well as ensure that the integrity thereof is maintained.
It must also be noted that no faults or complaints were logged by the customer on any of his lines or escalated to his Customer Relationship Manager, while the customer’s fault history over the recent past indicates that an overwhelming majority of these emanated from customer premises equipment and not the Telkom network.
Finally, it has not escaped Telkom’s attention that this entire episode has generated much excitement and interest, but the Company emphatically denies that we are currently considering placing this means of data transfer in our product catalogue and wholesaling it. However, Telkom is glad that, finally, we are able to welcome “real” competition in the telecommunications industry and, as a Company, we are confident that the above-mentioned points of clarification will certainly set the cat among the pigeons.
INTERNET users are in for big benefits from Telkom's latest network upgrade.
Within weeks of rolling out substantially expanded data packages, the company today announced that TelkomInternet will increase the speed of its Fastest DSL offering to "up to10 Mbps", effective 15 August 2010.
Telkom is enhancing its ADSL network to support ADSL speeds of up to 10Mbps in all areas which have suitable technology at exchanges to support the upgrade.
The 10 Mbps ADSL speed is an innovative enhancement to the existing Fastest DSL product, which now allows users to potentially burst at 10 Mbps.
All upgrades therefore remain subject to localised line conditions and the type of equipment available at the nearest exchange.
The upgrade is focussed on 4Mbps users who currently sync at full profile speed. This means that 10 Mbps will initially have a limited footprint, but this footprint will increase as Telkom expands its Metro Ethernet and ADSL2+ presence.
Customers can use an online availability check tool to establish the status of upgrades in their area. The availability checker can be found on the following web pages:
Recently, Telkom announced increases in the allocated blended bandwidth of some of its data packages at no additional cost to customers. The latest speed upgrade will also be at no additional cost to customers.
The increase in allocated blended bandwidth, together with the improvement in speed, will have significant benefits for a wide range of users.
For more information please contact the TelkomInternet call centre by dialling 10215.
Telkom today unveiled a product range to the consumer market designed to give customers the freedom to explore the Internet unrestricted.
Telkom's Do Uncapped offering removes restrictions on data volumes, further cementing the Company's commitment to satisfying the consumer's growing appetite for media rich online content.
Joining Telkom's Do Broadband portfolio, the Do Uncapped range includes: Do Uncapped 384 kbps; Do Uncapped 1Mbps and Do Uncapped 4Mbps. This unveiling comes shortly after the Company announced a free increase on the bandwidth caps of certain existing TelkomInternet packages.
Telkom's move into the uncapped product market comes after concluding intensive market research and data usage trials. Research indicated that increased data volumes are top of the consumers mind, and is further prioritised over data speeds.
To feed the hunger for data Telkom has tailored its Do Uncapped range according to consumer usage patterns derived from findings of the Company's broadband trials on higher cap trials conducted earlier this year.
Steven White Telkom Executive for Converged Business Services explains, "Telkom has observed industry trends and analysed data usage patterns to develop an uncapped product that delivers a quality and sustainable service."
White notes that while Telkom is not the first to market with an uncapped product the Company has taken the time to develop a product that ensures responsible, fair and balanced data consumption.
To this end Do Uncapped 384 kbps and Do Uncapped 1Mbps is subject to certain daytime speed restrictions outlined in TelkomInternet's Acceptable Use Policy. However, Do Uncapped 4Mbps is offered without any restrictions.
"The products have been designed for home users that traditionally are away from home during the day, who instead spend time online in the evening mostly," said White.
"The Acceptable Usage Policy is designed to ensure that all consumers enjoy a quality online experience," he added.
"Meeting our consumer's expectations for data usage today remains our priority, however the Company remains equally committed to innovating towards the demands of tomorrow," concluded White.
Telkom today took a step closer towards creating true fixed mobile convergence as the Company unveils a portfolio of broadband offerings to business customers.
This announcement comes after the introduction of Telkom Business Mobile, announced early last month, when the Company committed to a phased approach towards true convergence. Now with the introduction of a Business Broadband product set, Telkom is continuing this momentum.
Lending itself to the next iteration of the first phase of the Telkom convergence roadmap, Telkom Business Broadband portfolio offers a range of high capped and uncapped products targeted at small, medium and large business.
Managing Director of Telkom Business, Dr Brian Armstrong says that demand for faster line speeds and the appetite for Internet usage is on the up and up.
“In fact, Gartner predicts that through to 2015, average bandwidth requirements among enterprises will grow at a rate of at least 30% to 50% per year depending on region, line-of-business and so on,” he states.
The TBiz Capped offerings include five product bundles starting at an entry level 8GB shaped Internet usage with ADSL access of up to 384kbps to a 40GB shaped Internet Usage account with ADSL access of up to 4/10 Mbps.
The TBiz Uncapped offerings include four product bundles with entry level ADSL speeds of up to 384kbps ranging to up to 4/10 Mbps. The TBiz Uncapped offerings are subject to Telkom Internet’s Acceptable Use Policy.
Tailor-made Business Broadband solutions are also available, allowing customers to select their preferred components of ADSL access line speed, capped or uncapped Internet packages and value added service options.
Telkom Business Broadband is highly competitive on speed and usage levels and offers a well balanced product, delivering unmatched value to the market, notes Dr Armstrong.
Value added features for the Business Broadband portfolio include a new ADSL modem with automatic 3G back-up capability.
These modems connect users to a fixed line but can also accommodate a 3G dongle with SIM card for mobile broadband back-up. This allows for the automatic connection to wireless 3G if the ADSL line fails and reverts when the ADSL line is restored.
“Telkom Business Broadband is backed by Telkom’s robust IP network connected locally and internationally and is supported by Telkom Business’s national points of presence,” offers Dr Armstrong.
“With the launch of this offering Telkom has positioned itself as one-stop provider of combined offerings including Virtual Private Networks, cloud based services, fixed and mobile voice and unified communications; further paving the road towards true fixed mobile convergence,” concludes Dr Armstrong.
Telkom's commitment to an aggressive broadband strategy has produced positive results for its fixed line business, paving the way for Telkom's journey towards true fixed mobile convergence and entry into the content aggregation market.
For the six months ended 30 September 2011 Telkom reported a growth in fixed line EBITDA margin from 37.5% to 39.1%.
Group Chief Executive Officer, Ms Nombulelo Moholi noted that in light of current market conditions this was a significant achievement for Telkom.
The fixed line business also reported a 3.9% decline of operating expenditure to R11.7 billion while ADSL subscribers increased 13.7% to 795,419.
"Globally, telecoms operators are coming under intense pressure as growth in fixed and mobile voice revenues slow considerably. The decline of fixed-line voice is a common theme across all markets," explained Ms Moholi.
However she pointed out that in comparison a burgeoning appetite for data has resulted in a boosted growth in broadband services.
"In this context, we understand that we must make a significant step change in our strategy and approach to execution, not simply to defend our market share, but to grow our business and our revenues," said Ms Moholi.
Ms Moholi explained that Telkom's current DSL penetration (excluding wholesale DSL) stands at only 19.5% of the fixed-line base allowing an opportunity for Telkom to offset declines in voice revenues by growing broadband penetration.
Telkom will focus its strategy on growing and defending profitable revenues in its Consumer business by increasing broadband penetration in South Africa.
"We are enabling our target offering through high speeds and capped and uncapped offerings which consistently provide greater value for the same price."
The Company anticipates a further shift of its analogue connections to broadband as the confidence in Telkom's most recent broadband offerings grow. The drive towards full convergence has also bolstered a significant interest in the acquisition of fixed-lines as fixed lines form an imperative part of convergence.
Free broadband trials are cementing the belief that fixed-line broadband is unparalleled in terms of Quality of Service and that mobile broadband complements rather than replaces Telkom's ADSL service offers.
Going forward Telkom will also simplify and streamline product offerings and communication. Our new product catalogue will be launched in November 2011, said Ms Moholi.
Telkom will be using new approaches in how these products are distributed, specifically developing our push and new pull channels, while ensuring that staff is knowledgeable and customer oriented in our current channels.
Ms Moholi explained that the strategy would also focus on growing and defending profitable revenues for Business customers through entry into high growth adjacencies focusing on Convergence, Value Added Services and ICT offerings.
She identified network transformation through the successful rollout of a commercially led next generation network as another key focus of the strategy.
"Executing on these strategic imperatives will be challenging, but we have a strong foundation of recent successes on which to build. We launched South Africa's fourth mobile player, 8.ta, in 2010 and have recently launched Telkom Business Mobile to early excitement in the market. Cybernest has also seen some early successes, and there has been progress on the network transformation."
"It is clear that we need to be the best we can be in our current businesses while accessing growing revenue pools in selected adjacencies. We are transforming our network to allow us to move further into the mobile and select value-added ICT markets," concluded Ms Moholi.
Following the successful increase of data caps for the Telkom Internet AllAccess products four months ago, Telkom today announced another permanent increase in the monthly allowance on its consumer as well as business broadband offerings at no additional cost.
Effective 1 February, Telkom will permanently increase the monthly DSL blended data cap on the following products: 4GB Telkom Internet AllAccess will increase to 5GB; 8GB Telkom Internet AllAccess will increase to 10GB and the 16GB Telkom Internet AllAccess will increase to 20GB.
These cap increases improve the value of both the consumer Do products, and the business TBiz discount bundles.
Telkom also highlighted that for R20 more 1GB Telkom Internet AllAccess customers currently paying R79 for their service can upgrade to the 5 GB Telkom Internet AllAccess package for only R99 per month.
"In the case of retail customers, this is the second time since September 2011 that Telkom has increased their monthly data allowances for no extra charge. This is just a simple way of expressing our appreciation to our customers for their support," says Steve Lewis, Managing Executive: Product House.
To cater for the Internet needs of business, especially small and medium businesses, Telkom Business launched the TBiz range of broadband products last October.
The TBiz range has been well received and Telkom is also increasing the caps on the following TBiz Capped Discount Bundles at no additional cost: 8GB TBiz Entry will increase to 10GB; 16GB TBiz Basic (offered at 384kpbs) will increase to 20GB and the 16GB TBiz Advanced (offered at 1MB) will to 20GB. Customers still have the option to create their own bundles from the range of line, internet usage and VAS elements that are available.
Telkom Business has also launched additional Internet usage packages, shaped and unshaped, to give businesses a wider range of options on Internet bandwidth usage to bundle with DSL service.
"Our value proposition to our business customers is strongly geared not just to offer basic connectivity, but to provide the tools to gain the advantage of productivity, cost savings and market differentiation," says Lewis.
"The demand for more broadband is ever present. Telkom remains committed to meeting, and where possible, exceeding this demand, in a responsible manner," concludes Lewis.
1 GB Telkom Internet AllAccess Standard 0 GB Blended data 1 GB Telkom Internet AllAccess Standard
4 GB Telkom Internet AllAccess Standard 1 GB Blended data 5 GB Telkom Internet AllAccess Standard
8 GB Telkom Internet AllAccess Standard 2 GB Blended data 10 GB Telkom Internet AllAccess Standard
16 GB Telkom Internet AllAccess Advanced 4 GB Blended data 20 GB Telkom Internet AllAccess Advanced
16 GB Telkom Internet AllAccess Premium 4 GB Blended data 20 GB Telkom Internet AllAccess Premium
16 GB Telkom Internet AllAccess Business 4 GB Blended data 20 GB Telkom Internet AllAccess Business
Telkom today revealed significant progress on the Company’s journey to transform its network. The destination is an all-IP network designed to enable fixed-mobile convergence and truly differentiated high speed broadband.
This follows Telkom GCEO Nombulelo Moholi’s announcement of the network transformation plans at the Company’s annual results presentation in June 2011.
"We are happy to report major traction against these plans," said Mr Bashier Sallie, Telkom's Managing Director of Wholesale and Networks. "The journey to a future-proof network is based on a comprehensive set of network interventions. We have commenced the last, and arguably the most challenging, of these interventions - a revamp of our access network."
Mr Sallie explained that the revamp of Telkom’s access network aims to enable a truly differentiated broadband capability.
"We will take our fibre deeper into the network, thanks to new fibre capabilities, 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. Given the mix of customer broadband needs, a dispersed customer base and vast geography in SA, Telkom has chosen FTTx as our solution to ensure commercial and service sustainability," said Mr Sallie.
He explained that an access network is only as good as the underlying transmission and core network.
"We have gone a long way in revamping our aggregation network, which is now able to support super-fast transmission and enable a superior browsing experience. We have also transformed our transmission network which has evolved from carrying Gbit/s to Tbit/s throughput with great resilience and manageability. Our international connectivity has received a major boost to ensure worldwide reach with superb capacity and resilience.
Contrary to popular belief, Mr Sallie indicated that Telkom does in fact today have significant fibre-to-the-curb and fibre-to-the-business premises deployed. We currently have in excess of 15 000 Fibre Distribution Points (FDPs) and have recently changed our processes and business rules to make this more readily available. In addition Telkom has DSL coverage for 93% of its current customer base through 2700 fibre access nodes or DSLAMs on a last mile copper access, offering ADSL and ADSL2+ technology which facilitates a range of broadband speeds up to 10Mbps.
"We aim to increase our FTTC rollout to 3700 points of presence in the country. This new generation fibre access node will enable VDSL, VDSL2+ and xPON speeds.
"Our FTTx deployment is supported by more than 143 000 km of Telkom fibre in our national, regional and access networks across the country. Scale and presence is important and Telkom certainly has this, but depth of experience and the ability to innovate and utilise all the capabilities in the network to extract the value is crucial.
"Telkom has an unquestionable track record of world class delivery on large complex projects; the 2010 Soccer World Cup being a prime example. This differentiates us from the rest. Our network transformation will change the face of broadband capability in South Africa and I am confident that Telkom will execute successfully," concluded Mr Sallie.
Telkom Business today revealed greater value on its uncapped offerings with significant price adjustments to the internet product portfolio.
South African Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) can look forward to bandwidth increases on the entry-level offerings and up to 27% reduction in prices on the higher end usage offerings. Effectively, customers on entry level 384 and 1024 Uncapped Internet usage products will be upgraded to 1024 and 2048 Uncapped Internet respectively at no additional cost.
The new prices on usage products and value bundles are effective immediately while speed upgrades will commence automatically from 24 August 2012.
"Telkom Business remains committed to enabling small and medium business customers with high quality internet services. Today, we have not only increased value but we have also slashed prices," says Mr Thami Magazi, Managing Executive: SME Services.
"Over the last six months, we've recorded a 105% increase in internet usage from our retail customers over Telkom Internet. This includes increased activity by small and medium enterprises customers who are integrating high speed Internet into their daily operations."
Mr Magazi suggested that the increase in fixed bandwidth was enabled by the introduction of high quality uncapped Internet last year which has facilitated the uptake of more sophisticated business applications such as collaborative email, document sharing and web-hosting or cloud storage tools.
These product updates follow the recent announcement by the company on the upgrade of entry level ADSL speeds to enable new generation consumer content and business applications in a more cost effective manner.
Mr Steve Lewis, Managing Executive of Product House says, "Based on our customers' responses, we are improving our uncapped offerings while remaining responsible to the core network products through which we deliver our customer traffic."
"We are passing on benefits of improved bandwidth pricing and increased value in entry level products into our uncapped usage products," Mr Lewis added.
These product updates have been designed to enable businesses to gain a significant competitive edge.
"We believe that by offering these packages at these prices, we offer business customers the ability to enhance their ICT experience with a wider range of business utilities to truly boost their productivity," concluded Mr Magazi.
Telkom today began the first leg of its ADSL upgrade process following the Company's recently stated intention to effectively increase the value to entry level broadband users.
As of 24 August, customers currently on an 'Up to 1024 kpbs' ADSL offering will automatically be upgraded to 'Up to 2048 kpbs' ADSL.
The process is expected to continue for approximately six weeks - the time required to cover the national base.
Customers currently on an 'Up to 384 kbps' ADSL offering will also be upgraded, to 'Up to 1024 kbps'. This process will commence in October and is also anticipated to continue for approximately six weeks.
The speed upgrades enable Telkom Internet to effectively increase the value to entry level broadband customers. It also illustrates that the Company is in a position to create new products and services that allow customers to run multiple bandwidth-hungry applications simultaneously, and at faster speeds.
The benefits of the speed upgrades are relevant to Telkom's residential and business customers, specifically small to medium businesses that will be able to access a wider range of business utilities to boost their productivity.
Telkom today launched a pilot programme to begin testing high speed broadband offerings, marking another significant milestone on the Company's journey to transform its network.
Broadband speeds of up to 40 Mbps will be tested in the pilot where Telkom has deployed new generation access network kits in five areas of three provinces in South Africa: Benmore Gardens, Fourways and Waterkloof in Gauteng; Durban North in Kwa-Zulu Natal and Durbanville in the Western Cape. The pilot will run for three months until the end of January 2013.
Telkom Group CEO, Ms Nombulelo Moholi, said: "We are putting together the necessary building blocks for a network that will be unparalleled in quality and reach. This step is very significant for us on the road to supporting innovative and pervasive broadband services and truly changing the face of broadband in South Africa."
"A core part of our strategy is to lead in the data and broadband space as well as the fixed-mobile convergence market. The timeous launch of this pilot indicates the focussed execution of our strategy," she added.
Today's announcement comes on the back of previous communication on Telkom's progress on its network transformation journey. Earlier this year, the Company reported major traction on the revamp of the various layers of its network, with significant focus on its access network.
"We are again in a position to report on our progress of the network transformation. To date, 53 MSANs (Multi Service Access Nodes) have been deployed to facilitate this pilot," said Ms Moholi.
"The objective of the pilot will be to test the integration to our BSS/OSS systems and south-bound into our network management and configuration systems. The pilot will also serve to validate and test new service fulfilment and assurance processes, assess field technical and operational readiness and evaluate the customer experience in a controlled environment," she said.
Telkom's Managing Director for Wholesale and Networks, Bashier Sallie said: "The Company's technology gearing is firmly on track. Given the mix of customer broadband needs, a dispersed customer base and vast geography in South Africa, Telkom has chosen FTTx as one of the key solutions in our access network revamp.
"We can now start to truly capitalise on the investments made in underlying transmission and core network over the past few years. We have gone a long way in revamping our aggregation network, which is now able to support super-fast transmission and enable a superior browsing experience," he explained.
"We have also transformed our transmission network, which has evolved from carrying Gbit/s to Tbit/s throughput with great resilience and manageability. Our international connectivity has received a major boost with the WACS cable becoming commercially available to ensure worldwide reach with superb capacity and resilience."
"This pilot will inform the next steps in our ambition to provide ubiquitous, quality broadband in South Africa," concluded Mr Sallie.