Nokia and Telkom South Africa’s wholesale division Openserve have successfully conducted a trial of G.fast copper local loop technology in an office complex in Pinelands, South Africa, achieving an aggregate bandwidth (upstream and downstream) of 900Mbps on short copper loops, and speeds of 500Mbps/250Mbps download/upload on an existing copper line at a distance of 150 metres. Nokia’s press release says that the trial is a dry-run for Openserve’s commercial deployment of G.fast later this year, as the group aims to provide higher-speed (‘fibre-like’) broadband to more customers sooner, by leveraging existing copper deployments in typical Multi-Dwelling-Units (MDUs), without the need for any further fibre deployments within such buildings, and therefore without significantly increasing operational costs. Openserve CEO Alphonzo Samuels said: ‘We completed testing Nokia’s G.fast technology in our labs, and are extremely pleased with the results. G.fast provides us with a great alternative in scenarios where the length of the copper tail [last-mile] is 150 metres or less.’
As reported by CommsUpdate last month, Telkom/Openserve has indicated it will initially offer commercial G.fast broadband package speeds of 100Mbps (download) to residential customers over local loops shorter than 500 metres, with Mr Samuels disclosing that trials of the technology were earmarked for nine neighbourhoods ahead of commercial launch. Currently, Telkom offers download speeds of 40Mbps over its copper infrastructure, utilising VDSL technology.