The Department of Telecommunications has released its latest presentation on the South Africa Connect policy.
The policy aims to increase Internet connectivity in South Africa, and includes establishing a National Broadband Network.
The department’s presentation covers multiple aspects of connectivity in South Africa, including the latest fibre connectivity figures in the country.
According to statistics from the FTTX Council, the department said the number of homes connected to fibre in South Africa as of March 2018 was 280,000.
This is up from 89,000 homes from the year before.
The number of home passed by fibre has also increased, going from 439,000 in March 2017 to 933,000 in March 2018 – a year-on-year growth of 112%.
Openserve fibre growth
The department’s presentation follows Telkom’s recent financial results for the year ended 31 March 2018.
Telkom CEO Sipho Maseko said in his results presentation that the company has connected 109,336 homes with Openserve fibre.
Companies like Vumatel are also driving fibre adoption in South Africa, with projects to roll out fibre networks in suburban areas and townships currently on the go.
While the growth of fibre is impressive, the pool of connected users is still small compared to the height of Telkom’s fixed-line empire.
In 2000, Telkom had just under 5.5 million fixed-line subscribers.
The charts below show the growth of fibre connectivity in South Africa in recent years.
3G and 4G coverage
The department also touched on 3G and 4G coverage in South Africa.
The graph below shows the growth of 4G/LTE coverage in South Africa, based on statistics from ICASA.
4G/LTE coverage was measured at 77% in 2017, up from 53% in 2015.
3G coverage has remained flat, at 99% in 2017 and 2016.