Telkom used the MyBroadband conference yesterday to demonstrate the results of its technical trials into high-speed fixed Internet over a 100Mbps GPON-based line, as well as showing mobile broadband over 200Mbps LTE Advanced Carrier Aggregation air interface.

These types of speeds would offer superb quality for most customers. By aggregating two carriers (40MHz) of its 60MHz spectrum, Telkom is able to offer over 200Mbps on the air interface per sector.

These are the highest speeds ever achieved on these platforms in South Africa and Telkom is the first local telecoms player to achieve these speeds, true to its roadmap to improve headline speeds and work towards achieving bandwidth abundance.

As part of its trial, Telkom is testing different types of content, including, streaming, pay-per-view and trickle-feed from various content providers such as iTunes on AppleTV, Boxxee, YouTube, DStv Boxoffice online, DStv Catchup and Samsung SmartHub.

“Our introduction of high speed access is a roadmap designed to leapfrog South Africa to bandwidth abundance, together with high quality Internet,” says Dr Brian Armstrong, group chief operating officer at Telkom.
“While these speeds are impressive, Telkom business and residential customers would be able to access much of the interactive content that such speeds open up anyway, however this offers a glimpse into the future of broadband in South Africa.”

Current download speeds of Telkom’s LTE typically range from 20Mbps to 50Mbps, although top speeds can go as high as 90Mbps. Upload speeds range from 5Mps to 10Mbps with top speeds of 25Mbps. This translates to speeds at least double those of typical 3G networks.

The technological advantages of LTE make it a complementary enabler to xDSL for future broadband access, particularly for developing economies like South Africa. Wireless broadband and LTE in particular, could play a crucial role in the roll-out of the last mile in rural areas as part of the National Broadband Plan.

Telkom’s LTE network performs particularly well because it was purpose built on the 2300 MHz spectrum on an all-IP network, says Armstrong.

LTE Advanced is expected to become commercially available by mid-2014.