FibrePoynt – The affordable broadband service for suburbs waiting for fibre

Residents in Zwartkop, Centurion recently received fast and stable broadband access thanks to the Poynting’s FibrePoynt service.

FibrePoynt offers wireless Internet access through strategically placed access points called Janus Consumer Access Points (JCAPs).

These dual-beam Wi-Fi JCAPs use a “corridor coverage” system which covers streets in a neighbourhood rather than delivering blanket coverage through a single tower.

The access points and antennas are mounted four metres above the ground at an intersection, with their beams pointing down two streets on either side.

These beams are shaped to provide roughly the same signal strength to all houses. At the end of each segment, the last house gets a directional antenna that generates a 40dB cutoff.

This is to ensure that one access point will not interfere with the next one. This eliminates the potential problems a cellular network might face with overlapping cells.

The system can provide speeds of 100Mbps to residences which each have an outdoor antenna linked to an indoor router as Customer Premises Equipment (“AirPoynt CPEs”).

The infrastructure cost is around 40% lower than fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) and the CPE installation is around 50% cheaper per consumer.

The most valuable aspect of the service is that rollout across a suburb can happen in one month or less with little disruption to residents.

FibrePoynt JCAP coverage

FibrePoynt rollout in Zwartkop

The FibrePoynt rollout in Zwartkop X8 is a combined effort between Lerumo Holdings, Poynting, BlueNova, and WiLink.

  • Lerumo installed the infrastructure.
  • Poynting provided the FibrePoynt solution.
  • BlueNova provided the power backup.
  • WiLink was established as the service provider.

This suburb has over 100 houses, of which 25 have moved to the new WiLink system with more clients expected to join when their current DSL or wireless contracts expire.

An integrated management system enables WiLink to monitor and optimize the system remotely, shape the traffic in relation to the subscription, and conduct billing.

WiLink offers residents packages ranging from 10Mbps down and 5Mbps up to 20Mbps down and 20Mbps up.

Prices range from R851 per month for a 10Mbps/5Mbps service, to R1,064 per month for a 20Mbps/20Mbps service.

WiLink said it is considering higher-speed packages as demand for the service increases.

FibrePoynt said initial feedback from consumers has been very positive, saying it provides better service levels than ADSL or WISPs.

The map below shows the coverage in Zwartkop X8.

What the system looks like and how it works

The closest fibre line to the suburb was in Lenchen Road, and through DFA the system connected to this line and piped it to the JCAP Lite node.

At the JCAP Lite box, the fibre is connected to a router that takes the fibre to a backhaul link on the roof. This unit transmits the Internet from the boundary of the suburb to the rest of the JCAP’s in the suburb.

The JCAP consists of two back-to-back units that can radiate in different directions, a solar panel and a lithium battery to ensure that it works autonomously.

At each JCAP there is a power unit with a BlueNova lithium battery with a solar panel.

Each JCAP can cover about 30 to 60 houses depending on the area and the layout of the street.

Each house is provided with a Wireless Network Terminal (WNT).

WiLink ensured that every JCAP and JCAP Lite has autonomous back-up power, but the system can also work with the AC Power.

The Autonomous Power Back up consists of a Solar Panel and BlueNova Lithium Battery.

Now read: FibrePoynt – Cheaper fibre coverage for South Africa

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FibrePoynt – The affordable broadband service for suburbs waiting for fibre