On 12 April 2014, mobile service provider MTN South Africa demonstrated its high-speed Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) offering to residents of Monaghan Farm – an eco-friendly gated estate, located 30km north of Johannesburg. The commercial delivery of FTTH capable of 100Mbps is a first in Africa.
MTN is currently rolling out aggressive deployment to high-density urban areas, such as high-end gated communities, boomed-off suburbs and high-rise buildings. The official commercial launch for the product is set for 1 June 2014, with advanced discussions underway with several additional residential sites. The roll-out is a demand-driven extension of the company’s already fast-expanding fibre connectivity backbone, utilising Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON) technology, to business parks and residential estates in all major cities.
“We are massively excited by the momentum that our pre-launch has already created. By pioneering the technology in South Africa (and indeed Africa, for the current set of speeds on offer), we are sealing our position as the provider of choice,” says Eben Albertyn, Chief Technology Officer of MTN SA.
The estimated connectivity date for homes in the Monaghan Farm estate is mid-May, with in excess of 60% of the residents having signed up. Offers vary based on desired internet speed, ranging from 10 to 100 Mbps. Speed trials at the pre-launch event clocked up to 150.2Mbps, while earlier this year, MTN demonstrated lab trials of up to 1Gbps on their fibre network.
Pricing is currently only available to residents and is negotiated on a case-by-case basis, dependant on the amount of infrastructure and civil engineering required for each estate.
MTN’s FTTH programme will be largely demand-driven, with homeowner associations and members of the public invited to express their interest by contacting the company directly on firstname.lastname@example.org.
“What I look forward to the most, is how Fibre-to-the-Home opens up the door to making the Connected Home a reality,” says Mike Fairon, General Manager of Products and
Solutions at MTN SA.