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If you are reading this MacroLan Tech Blog Post right now, there is a good chance that at some point the data used to display it in your browser travelled through a Fibre Optic Cable. This is because Fibre Optics is just one of the many technologies that we currently use every day and sometimes don’t even realise it. From telecommunications and medicine, to military and exploration capabilities, Fibre Optics is now an integral part of our lives as it helps broaden horizons, save lives and allows us to communicate instantly with people all over the world.
Telkom ADSL might have been an industry juggernaut for more than a decade, but if the company’s latest financial results are anything to go by this has all changed. In fact, if you take a look at the information taken directly from their Late 2017 Interim Results below, you’ll immediately see that Telkom have had a significant year-on-year decline:
Small businesses in South Africa, as well as home users, who frequently login to work from their primary residence, often need to expand their WiFi and network needs. When this happens they often turn to consumer-grade networking products which are available at a lower cost. Additionally these over the counter routers and switches are easy to purchase at an online store or in a brick and mortar establishment. In our opinion however this is really not the best product option, as these consumer products are simply not up to the job that is required of them. Below we’ve supplied 5 reasons why we think this way, all of which we hope will help you make the correct networking equipment choice.
Everywhere you go at the moment there seems to be a fibre optics installation team laying cables. This is not just a perception, but fact and there is an over-saturation of fibre across all of South Africa’s biggest cities at the moment. In our opinion however, installations are likely to slow down dramatically within the next 2 – 3 years. This is because the current growth rate will quickly ensure that fibre becomes the main internet access option for people living in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban.
MultiChoice, a company that is well-known for its innovative approach to doing business in Africa, has recognised the versatility of Fibre. This is evident in their fibre-based signal distribution system that was unveiled in the last quarter of 2017. This service is compatible with both Explora and Single-View HD DSTV Decoders, and is perfect for customers living in estates, complexes or flats as it uses a centralised satellite dish to receive a signal for all subscribers, but then distributes the individual account signals into the respective homes using a fibre network. As an added bonus, all DSTV subscribers who want to make use of the Catch Up Plus and Showmax services can do so as the DSTV fibre-based signal distribution system connects them to the internet but does not impact on the data download speeds of the signal distribution network.
Soon the question “Can I get Fibre?” is no longer going to be the one on everyone’s lips, thanks to the massive fibre optics rollout projects taking place in all major South African metros. These projects are coming to fruition as we write this article, which means that fibre-to-the-home and business fibre will become a certainty for all who want it.
Some of you might have heard it being referenced, and some of you might have even read the odd article about it. But the one question that will soon be on everyone’s lips is “What is 5G?” The answer is simple, as it is the term used to describe the next-generation of mobile networks that go far beyond the 4G LTE mobile networks that are in use in South Africa and abroad today. It must be noted however, that the definition of 5G Mobile Networks is still very much in a stage of flux, and it is generally assumed that it will not be made available to consumers until at least 2020.
Internet service providers across South Africa are in the middle of a massive growth phase as the demand for High-Speed Internet continues to increase around the country. This growth is not just commercial either, as more homes come online alongside their fibre to business stablemates. Because of this more and more homes and businesses are starting to take advantage of cloud storage and computing, which is not only bringing South Africa up to international digital economy standards, but is also helping to drive innovative thinking. This in turn is stimulating job creation as the efficiency, growth, productivity and costs savings associated with cloud computing start taking affect.
It has been said that Open Access is a way to bring more competition to the high-speed fibre internet market, which is something that South Africa desperately needs to bring down ISP prices. This however will only be true if there is enough infrastructure competition, and unfortunately many fibre network providers are signing exclusive agreements with landowners and body corporate entities, which goes against the spirit of true open access internet. When this happens there is very little difference between the monopoly over who supplies the fibre infrastructure in a neighbourhood and how Telkom currently runs its ADSL business. A problem then arises, as where there is a monopoly on infrastructure, many (although not all) network providers will tend not to innovate, update, or improve service levels as fast as in a competitive market.
Reliability, exceptional efficiency and lightning fast speed, these are the benefits of fibre to the home, and it is helping to transform the way we interact with everything around us, even the television! At the forefront of this charge into the future of home entertainment is DSTV, who are hoping to make your home the focal point of all the entertainment access you’ll ever need. And at its heart is fibre optic digital data communication, which is exactly what we offer our customers.