Telkom recently announced that it will migrate its copper-based voice and DSL customers to fibre and wireless services in the coming months.
In areas where there is fibre coverage, ADSL and VDSL subscribers will be migrated to capped and uncapped fibre packages.
If there is no fibre coverage, DSL users will be migrated to fixed-LTE products which offer similar functionality to their current ADSL or VDSL connections.
DSL subscribers can therefore expect better service levels and less downtime as fibre and wireless services are not severely affected by elements like cable theft and weather.
Impact on ISPs
While this migration will be a welcome upgrade for many ADSL and VDSL subscribers, it will also impact ISPs which have thousands of ADSL subscribers.
Many ISPs told MyBroadband that they have not received official communication from Telkom or Openserve regarding the planned DSL migration. However, it did not come as a surprise.
Most ISPs welcomed Telkom’s DSL migration plans and said it offers an opportunity for them to move their subscribers to better products.
They also downplayed concerns of losing ADSL subscribers as these users can be moved to other broadband solutions.
Many alternative products
MWEB CEO Sean Nourse told MyBroadband they have a wide range of alternative products and that they are proactively engaging with their customers about their options.
Webafrica’s head of product Greg Wright echoed these views, saying it will impact their subscribers in a positive way.
“Copper has been ignored for years and there is an opportunity for Telkom to put the savings from decommissioning the copper network into making their fibre and fixed-LTE solutions,” Wright said.
He added that it will make Telkom more competitive, especially if they reduce their IPC prices, lower their wholesale fibre line pricing, and accelerate their LTE rollout.