Telkom to trial 20Mbps and 40Mbps DSL

In March 2011 Telkom conducted a survey where users were quizzed about their view on DSL speeds of up to 20Mbps, uncapped ADSL products and ADSL pricing levels.

This survey sparked speculation that Telkom may be planning to increase the speed of its fastest ADSL service from 10Mbps to 20Mbps.

Telkom Group CEO Pinky Moholi told MyBroadband in March 2011 that the survey merely formed part of the company’s research into potential future offerings, and consumers’ appetites for various services.

Moholi made it clear that consumers should not read too much into these surveys, adding that uncapped ADSL is merely one part of the investigation without any immediate plans to launch such a service.

Pinky Moholi
Pinky Moholi - Telkom CEO

News has now emerged that Telkom is getting ready to trial 20Mbps and 40Mbps DSL services, where the 40Mbps connections will be used for video-on-demand trials.

According to information received by MyBroadband, the company will trial high speed DSL services at a few exchanges around the country.

Numerous remote IMAX units will be deployed in the areas around these exchanges, which will then be back-hauled to the exchanges via fibre.

It is likely that Telkom will use a combination of technologies for this trial, including ADSL2+ and VDSL. Very-high-bitrate DSL (VDSL or VHDSL) is a DSL technology which provides downlink speeds of up to 52Mbps and uplink speeds of up to 16Mbps over a single copper pair.

VDSL (courtesy of EETimes)

The lower local loop lengths will make the higher speed DSL services possible, and in cases where the copper quality is not high enough to deliver the higher speeds, copper replacement or rehabilitations will be considered.

While speeds exceeding 20Mbps may come as a surprise to some readers, fibre-to-the-curb projects to shorten the local loop have been part of Telkom’s strategy for years.

Telkom was asked for feedback about their planned 20Mbps and 40Mbps DSL trials, but the company did not provide comment by the time of publication.

In response to questions about the 20Mbps and 40Mbps DSL trials Telkom said that “Enabling Innovation” is one of the key themes in the company’s strategy for transforming its network together with advances towards evolving and revamping the access aspects of the network.

Bashier Sallie
Bashier Sallie

“It has and continues to be a Telkom strategy to reduce the copper loop length, by taking ‘fibre to the curb’, in the quest to provide higher broadband speeds,” said Bashier Sallie, Telkom’s Senior Managing Executive for Wholesale and Networks.

“As is already known, Telkom has in excess of 143,000 kilometres of optic fibre in its network and a large portion of this is ‘to the curb’. An underpinning principle is to transform the network for growth and cost efficiency.”

Sallie said that Telkom continues to investigate and innovate towards the development, growth and implementation of fixed-line broadband to enhance the Broadband experience of their customers.

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Telkom to trial 20Mbps and 40Mbps DSL