South Africa’s fixed-line giant Telkom has announced that it plans to roll out support for LTE Advanced (LTE-A) in more than 50 suburbs across the country before the end of this year. Why should you care? Because LTE-A is fast, really fast.
LTE-A can potentially offer speeds of up to 3Gbps, though users will see speeds closer to 200Mbps at first. Telkom says it hopes to ramp up toward the top end of LTE-A’s limits in due course.
Telkom chief operating officer Brian Armstrong says LTE-A is “an integral part of Telkom’s high speed broadband strategy” and that the company believes LTE-A will eventually become “the de facto mobile data standard”.
Unlike its rivals MTN and Vodacom, which both use the 1 800Mhz spectrum band to provide LTE, Telkom uses spectrum in the 2.3GHz band. Telkom is the only operator with spectrum in this band, one that is favoured in markets like China, India and Australia.
“Our LTE-A platform runs on the 2.3GHz spectrum, which is unique to Telkom,” Armstrong says. “The spectrum allows us to offer efficient, high-quality and stable LTE-A technology to our customers. The speeds offered on this technology are comparable to those offered over fibre connections, therefore offering an unparalleled wireless Internet experience.”
According to Armstrong, Telkom plans to have the first areas connected during December. “We anticipate the initial roll-out will be complete by March 2015. The precise LTE-A product offerings and prices are still to be announced, but we can confirm we will offer bigger bundles and greater speeds for an enhanced wireless connectivity experience.”
Telkom has identified selected suburbs in Gauteng, KwaZulu Natal and the Western Cape. The specific suburbs are listed in the image below: