While many DSL subscribers are trading their copper lines for LTE-A services, DSL will ultimately be replaced with fibre, said BMIT.
BMIT said one of the factors influencing people’s decision to abandon DSL is that Telkom has stopped replacing stolen copper lines in problem areas.
This includes shutting down unprofitable exchanges in towns like Randfontein, where Telkom rolled out fixed-line-look-alike services using LTE.
“The new player on the block – Rain – takes Telkom on at its own game with highly-attractive options and with a high-quality network experience,” said BMIT.
Telkom’s annual financial results for 2016/17 show that the company is losing DSL subscribers faster than it can add new fibre clients.
Between March 2016 and March 2017, Telkom’s DSL subscriber base declined by 55,202, while its fibre base increased by 31,511 subscribers.
According to Telkom, it is also seeing subscribers switch to LTE-A from DSL.
In its new report, BMIT analysed the home and business broadband markets during September 2017, and revised its forecasts for when fibre will overtake DSL in terms of its installed base.
BMIT predicts the crossover point where the installed base of FTTx will exceed DSL to be in 2021.
“If we look at the residential market alone, this point could be reached up to two years earlier – as long as SA continues on the FTTH high road,” said BMIT.