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Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  13 Jul 2011

INTERNET: Faster, Cheaper Broadband By 2012 Says Jasco Telecoms


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When considering broadband in the South African context, we are ramping up massively off a low base thanks to the launch of the undersea cables, and demand is high. Trends such as the move to cloud computing, tablet devices and smartphones are driving that demand, prompting network providers, service providers and corporates to reposition - review, refresh and re-provision their networks to take advantage of capacity growth and demand.
So when will corporates and consumers see this promised 'more, faster, cheaper' broadband?

"It'll be here in 2012," says Mark van Vuuren of Jasco Telecommunications, a company within the Jasco Group that provides technology and services to

network carriers. "By 2012, a large part of the access network necessary
to take up the masses of international bandwidth made available by the new undersea cables and channel it to users will have been built, and the cost and capacity benefits will filter through fully to corporates and consumers."

Constraints in terms of build-out of networks include site negotiations, legal agreements and regulatory process and compliance, he notes. For example, to take fibre cables across streets, bridges and rivers, environmental impact assessments need to be done and 'wayleaves' (an agreement to allows work to be carried out on a property belonging to someone else) granted, which can take 9-12 months.

"We also expect access to fibre to ramp up significantly as companies vie to close that 'last mile' gap to the doors of corporates," he notes. "There are huge investments by all network players in terms of expanding national and metropolitan fibre networks, but there is still a big gap in the last mile.
It's where Jasco Telecommunications is placing its bets with the imminent launch of Fybrfly, an initiative that will bring fibre to the doorstep of businesses in the corporate parks and then link it from the gatehouse to the metro fibre rings. That's pure fibre - from the office to the metro fibre ring, into the cloud and back again, at high-speed without interruption."

Besides building out their networks, network providers are doing 'mobile upgrades' to increase the air interface capacity of their base stations and to enhance their backhaul capacity - i.e., bring the increasing large volumes of mobile data aggregated on site back into the networks. "LTE trials are being rolled out by the network providers to increase network capacity and ensure mobile connectivity at the speeds approaching what consumers are demanding," says Van Vuuren. "It's technology that is more than a 'nice to have' - it is essential for the networks to retain competitiveness. Furthermore, it is anticipated that at least one of the major cellular providers will be linking 1000 base stations a year to the metro fibre rings to further increase backhaul capacity."

The arrival of new technologies to accelerate, simplify and secure broadband interactions in increasingly converged (voice, video, data) communication networks will further assist corporates to leverage the benefits of cheaper, more abundant broadband. Says Van Vuuren: "Organisations are ramping up the internal rollout of Wi-Fi solutions to enable staff to connect to the corporate network using tablet devices. Primarily privately owned consumer devices, tablet PCs allow staff to be more mobile, efficient and productive, at the office or working remotely. With no USB ports on these devices, Wi-Fi is needed to enable them to connect to the corporate network. A key challenge is security, however."

"Can you access the corporate network securely from a public Wi-Fi hotspot?
With Aruba, a technology we have recently added to our stable, you can. Its modular mobility controller delivers a wide range of network services to large campus networks, moving traffic over a public or private transport network using secure IP tunnels, access points (APs) and Mobility Access Switches, and providing local bridging at the access layer."

Another technology that is going to boost the capability of organisations to leverage broadband along with other key communication platforms quickly and easily is a new range of all-in-one devices. "These are converged, multifunctional, multiplatform appliances that leverage increasing IP and telecoms convergence. They comprise an IP-based PABX and a print, file, Web, mail and fax server for small, medium and enterprise-sized organisations, introducing ease of connectivity and management, not to mention knocking 30% off the price of infrastructure."

Broadband has massive potential which is being realised the world over. "We need to adapt quickly to leverage those benefits in all spheres. Jasco Telecommunications provides technologies and services to the networks so we understand the capabilities and limitations of these technologies and know how to leverage them to best effect for end users," emphasises Van Vuuren.

"Technology develops quickly and is complex. To increase performance and remain competitive organisations need to swim with the tide, adopting these technologies as smartly as they can. In terms of broadband and connectivity, it's the network- and service providers that remove complexity for the user, giving them fast access to new services and adding management simplicity."

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