Mauritian fixed line, broadband and mobile operator Emtel has announced the launch of high speed wireless broadband fibre-through-the-air (FTTA) in the coastal resort of Balaclava, as it looks to reduce its reliance on fixed fibre alternatives. The new system, called ‘airbox’, is based on a Slovenian design and, according to the firm, is capable of achieving peak data throughput of 30Mbps. TeleGeography notes that FTTA – a technology originally created for battlefield communications – has been deployed in a number of cities in central and eastern Europe.
Emtel chairman and CEO Shyam Roy says that the decision to opt for FTTA will ‘solve the problem of the slow deployment of optical fibre across the country that still prevents [universal] access to high speed’ services. The official added that the telco has installed five primary transmission towers to send/receive data to users which purchase a receiving antenna placed on the roof of their home or business. Emtel has been developing the platform for a year he says, claiming that to date 66% of households in the country are already eligible for airbox – a figure that is set to rise to 100% by early 2016. FTTA coverage already extends to Plaines-Wilhems and the northwest of Mauritius, including Albion Goodlands and up through to Port-Louis and Saint-Pierre. However, the CEO said that the service is not yet available in Rodrigues. Emtel is marketing airbox with unlimited internet access (with speeds ranging from 10Mbps to 30Mbps), and a fixed telephone line with free calls.