Mustek today opened a new optical fibre pre-termination facility that will allow it to supply operators and installers with complete solutions built on m2fx’s Miniflex fibre cable, microduct and protection tube range.

The number of fibre deployments (FTTx) is rapidly increasing across southern Africa, driven by the rollout of superfast broadband, mobile networks and the growth of data centres. However high installation costs, particularly in the last mile of networks, threatens the pace of rollouts.

The partnership between Mustek and m2fx aims to meet needs in the regional broadband market.

The Miniflex product range feature a patented QuikPush pushable technology that reduces the time and cost of installations by removing the need for specialist equipment or skills and requiring smaller teams. Customers in Europe and North America have achieved savings of up to 60%, allied to greater reliability and reduced maintenance costs.

Through the new Mustek pre-termination facility, the company will provide completed fibre solutions to the local market, built from m2fx’s components. Installers can then simply plug these in without needing to splice cables, thereby reducing lead times and speeding up deployments.

Since beginning their partnership in September 2012, Mustek and m2fx have built a successful working relationship, supplying products for multiple installations including DFA, Neotel and RSAweb. In addition, Mustek is the first approved partner in Africa that is licensed to create pre-connectorised fibre cables, including the QuikPush range.

“Up until now deployment time and cost have been huge stumbling blocks when it comes to large scale rollouts of fibre networks, both to homes and businesses,” says Hein Engelbrecht, MD of Mustek.

“Our drive is to make deployments affordable and the new pre-termination plant will enable us to offer m2fx’s proven technology much faster to our local customers, bringing down costs for operators and users. We believe this expanded partnership will grow last mile fibre deployments, providing a high quality, cost-effective solution across southern Africa.”

Employing 574 people nationally, Mustek’s 375 square metre Johannesburg fibre plant utilises advanced technology and state of the art equipment, giving it the capacity to manufacture thousands of kilometres of pre-terminated fibre cable every year. This will enable Mustek to supply installations throughout Africa through its large scale distribution network which spans South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria.

To date Mustek has invested more than R4-million in its new fibre division.

“Fibre networks are the arteries of today’s information society and increasing fibre penetration is central to Africa’s growth and expansion,” says Tom Carpenter, CEO of m2fx.

“Working together with Mustek we can speed up installation, increase reliability and reduce costs for fibre networks of all types. This new investment from Mustek shows their dedication to delivering our technology to the local market and their commitment to the regional economy. It is a blueprint for our expansion in other regions as we address the growing global market for fibre networks.”