Vodacom Business announced on Thursday that it is launching fibre-to-the-business (FTTB) services in South Africa, starting with selected business parks in Gauteng, the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal and offering broadband connectivity of up to 100Mbit/s.
Vuyani Jarana, chief officer for Vodacom Business, says the operator has spent more than R2 billion on fibre infrastructure since 2008 to connect more than 10 000 cellular base stations. It’s this network that forms the backbone of its 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 rand in building our fibre-optic network and realised we could also roll out fibre services to businesses, and eventually to homes,” Jarana says, suggesting that fibre to the home (FTTH) will likely follow.
“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.”
Packaged as “Vodacom Business Broadband Connect Fibre”, the service provides businesses with uncapped Internet access, a router and an optional fixed-line voice-over-IP (VoIP) service. More importantly, Vodacom is covering all installation costs associated with the service when companies sign up.
Businesses can choose from a range of packages with connection speeds between 5Mbit/s on the low end and 100Mbit/s at the top end. Also, if a business has poor Vodacom mobile coverage, the operator will in future be offering its FTTB customers the option of installing a dedicated “mini base station”. Now, imagine being able to do that at home, too.
Let’s hope FTTB takes off and encourages Vodacom to fast-track FTTH in the process. We’re holding thumbs.
Watch an interview with Jarana, conducted by Aki Anastasiou, below: