Vodacom Business today announced the launch of Fibre To The Business (FTTB) services in South Africa. The initial rollout phase of Vodacom’s new Broadband Connect Fibre service sees broadband connectivity of up to 100Mbit/s coming to selected business parks in Gauteng, Cape Town, and Durban. This new service means that businesses of all sizes that operate out of business parks will have access to high speed and high capacity data connections. This opens up a range of services to drive cost savings, improve efficiencies and increase competitiveness.
Broadband Connect Fibre uses the latest Passive Optical Network (PON) technology to give an unparalleled experience. With this new service, businesses will be able to access rich content experiences via the Internet that were previously only available to large corporate customers. These services include video collaboration, voice over internet protocol (VoIP), Hosted PBX, Office365, Cloud Backup and other data applications.
Since 2008, Vodacom has spent more than R2 billion investing in fibre transmission which connects its more than 10,000 cellular base stations and now forms the backbone of this new FTTB service.
“Most people don’t realise it, but underneath every mobile network is a high speed fixed network connecting the base stations. We’ve invested billions of rands in building our fibre optic network, meaning that we now have the critical mass to offer customers across South Africa access to the latest technology including FTTB,” said Vuyani Jarana, Chief Officer for Vodacom Business.
“Our new FTTB service paves the way for true cloud and other next generation services while opening the door to a new level of efficiency, mobility and cost savings,” added Jarana.
Vodacom Business’ Broadband Connect Fibre service provides SMEs with bundled uncapped internet access, a router and optional fixed-line VoIP which delivers as much as 30% savings on phone calls. Rapid deployment including the connecting and upgrading of fibre cables is part of the service, and all installation costs are covered by Vodacom. The plans, which are tailored to meet the needs of all sizes of business, offer a range of connection speeds from 5Mbit/s to 100Mbit/s.
Importantly, as part of its roll out plan, Vodacom will in the future be offering customers the option of installing additional equipment in their premises to, in effect, set up a dedicated mini mobile base station. This equipment, which uses the fibre connection to route cellphone traffic back into the network, will give the best possible mobile signal and eliminate any troublesome coverage spots in the office.
“A cornerstone of Vodacomâs Ready Business ethos is that our customers should have the fastest, most reliable connection,” says Jarana. “With the most extensive network across South Africa and proven reliability, we are positioned to offer world class broadband solutions that give SMEs and office park managers a clear business advantage.”
Discussing the rollout plans from here, Jarana said:
“We’re particularly excited about our acquisition of Neotel and what this will mean for the speed at which we can rollout broadband services. If given regulatory approval, we’ll be able to add Neotel’s 22,000 km of fibre to our existing network and then fast-track the provision of high speed connectivity not only for businesses but also for homes across South Africa. By doing this, we’ll be in the best possible position to support Government’s Broadband 2020 objectives.”