Telone has recently been pulling out their ancient underground cables, giving them a new lease of life with fresh high speed fibre optic and fresh copper cables around Harare, Central Business District.
We caught up with a team on ground, which has been doing rounds around Harare with a four wheel drive truck which has drawn the attention of many as it pulled out the old pipes from the ground.
Lying underneath earth for many decades, copper cables are not prone to rotting effects but the speed and efficiciency of the structure becomes compromised as natural effects fight copper cables over a period of time.
Telone has been injecting the high speed fibre cable around CBD to boost both voice and data while refurbishing their copper cables connectivity a major move as they optimise their network for a converged digital future.
It is however a reality also that rolling out a new fibre access network to the home (FTTH) is very expensive. It is estimated that deploying FTTH requires investment, approximately 2 to 5 times higher than required for existing copper plant. These costs are ultimately borne by the broadband user at the end of the day.
There are also regulatory and technology issues i.e. active/passive repeaters to be considered although they are minor.
Copper cables remain very relevant and fast enough for our daily broadband needs, pumping high speeds with cost effective measures around the nation, a move which ideally calls for higher bandwidth optimisation with maximum through puts stipulated in the below table.
Technology Bandwidth (MHz) Data Rate (Typical) Reach Comment
ADSL 1 8 Mbps (1 – 5M) 5km First generation
ADSL2+ 2 24 Mbps (3 – 15M) 5km Second generation
VDSL2 30 100 Mbps (15 – 50M) 1 – 2 Km Ramping up
Vectoring 30 200 Mbps 1 Km Ready soon
Phantom 30 1 Gbps 400m Broadband world forum
Copper can match the bit rates of optical fibre now and in the immediate future with future with comparably much less investment. Tel•One therefore advises existing and prospective broad users not to fall into the trap of believing that they can only get broadband over optical fibre. This can only lead to unnecessary expenses when they can get similar or better performance from the existing copper based solutions. Worldwide DSL technologies are still in use and delivering quality services.
Finally, the most bandwidth demanding services are the video services. Generally video service specifications are as follows: –
• IPTV HD – 20 Mbps per stream (at most 5HD, STB, totalling 100Mbps)
• IPTV SD – 4 Mbps per stream
• Over the Top (OTT) 0 2.5 Mbps per stream
As illustrated all these bandwidth requirements are within the capabilities of the DSL. Tel•One offer the ADSL2+ service in Mutare, Gweru, Marondera, Chitungwiza, Gwanda, Norton, Victoria Falls, Chegutu, Masvingo, Kadoma, Bindura, Chinhoyi, Harare, Bulawayo, Gweru, Masvingo and Rusape.
HSDSL has become a favourite of many who are data hungry for real time connectivity as they demand the highest balanced uplink and downlink for stable video streaming, video conferencing and any vedio based IP service.
However Telone runs on aFibre optic backbone that stretches from Mozambique out via Victoria, and still remains way faster than the DSL connectivity, in fact they say it has infinite speed, the demand so far has remained below the fibre capability.