Openserve’s million-home fibre push

Telkom’s Openserve has shifted its focus on fibre-to-the-home from “homes passed” to the number of homes connected, the company told MyBroadband.

This is to maximise the returns on its capital expenditure.

Telkom provided this feedback in the context of the ambitious target CEO Sipho Maseko set for the business in 2015 – to have a million homes connected via FTTH by September 2018.

In its interim results ending 30 September 2017, Telkom said its fibre network passed over 300,000 homes, of which almost 74,000 were connected.

This translates to an overall connectivity rate of 24.5%.

“A premises is considered to be passed when a network demarcation point is close enough to the address to ensure that an order can be fulfilled without any further network build,” said Openserve explained.

“Only trenching and installation on end-user premises may still be required.”


In addition to homes passed, Telkom reported over 2.1 million fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) nodes were active, and almost 2,000 LTE sites were integrated.

Openserve said that combining these figures, as of 30 September 2017, means it had passed 2.4 million premises.

The company added that its network strategy entails modernising and commercialising its network, and it is investing in the entire broadband ecosystem.

“This investment enabled us to maintain the lead in the provisioning of high-speed broadband access, with over 150,000 kilometres of fibre deployed nationally,” said Openserve.

“Due to our investment in the entire broadband ecosystem, we track total broadband subscribers which includes FTTH, LTE, and FTTC, where the last mile is fibre.”

Openserve noted that although the overall reported fibre connectivity rate was 24.5%, it connected 40% of the homes passed during the first half of its current financial year.

“In addition, in the same period, fibre-to-the-business connections increased by 62% to just below 70,000 end points, and fibre to base stations increased by 10.3% to over 6,000 base stations.”

Telkom faces stiff competition in 2018, with Vumatel, Vox, Cybersmart, and SEACOM in aggressive drives to expand their fibre infrastructure.

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Openserve’s million-home fibre push