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Openserve, Nokia trial G.fast in SA

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Nokia and Openserve, the wholesale division of Telkom, have successfully conducted a trial of G.fast technology, reaching fibre-like speeds over existing copper infrastructure as deployed in buildings.

The trial is a dry-run for Openserve’s commercial deployment of G.fast later this year, meaning it will soon join the top 10 companies worldwide deploying the technology.

The results of the trial demonstrated an aggregate bandwidth (upstream and downstream) of 900Mbps on short copper loops, and speeds of 500Mbps upstream and 250Mbps upstream on an existing copper line at a distance of 150m.

Nokia’s G.fast technology uses the last few hundred meters of existing copper located in a building to deliver ultra-broadband access to customers, and it will allow Openserve to meet demands for fibre-like broadband speeds without significantly increasing operational cost.  The built-in vectoring technology reduces cross-talk interference between copper lines, hence improving data speeds.

G.fast technology is increasingly being used in areas that are cumbersome to reach with fiber, allowing operators to deploy fiber-to-the building instead of each individual apartment unit – the most expensive and time-consuming part of a fiber-to-the-home deployment. As G.fast uses existing copper lines, it reduces disruption and lowers the barriers with home owners in multiple-dwelling complexes and home owner associations for granting permissions to upgrade infrastructure on their properties.

Openserve CEO Alphonzo Samuels says: “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 is 150m or less. Moreover, the business case is convincing.

“With G.fast, we have found a way to maximise the usage of some of our existing network infrastructure, while avoiding any disruption or possible harm to the aesthetics of the real estate. Nokia is our long-term innovation partner, and we take pride in continuing down that path, bringing more high-speed broadband services to citizens and business customers in South Africa.”

Daniel Jaeger, head of Central, East and West Africa at Nokia, comments: “This is one of the first G.fast trials worldwide, and we are proud to be a part of it. Service providers are grappling with different technologies to meet the ever-growing demand for high-speed internet, and this innovative solution allows them to use existing infrastructure to cater to market demand.

“G.fast offers the unique combination of fiber-like speeds with very limited additional investment needed, low-hassle deployments, and faster return-on-investment.”