South African telco MTN has announced plans to commercially launch a 100Mbps fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) broadband service in its domestic market on 1 June 2014, TechCentral reports. According to the article, MTN demonstrated its FTTH technology at the Monaghan Farm estate, located 30km north of Johannesburg, on 12 April 2014, and is currently rolling out fibre-optic networks, which utilise Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON) technology, to business parks and residential estates in all major cities. Residents of Monaghan Farm will gain access to the fibre-optic network in mid-May, with around 60% of them already signing up for the service. Speeds on offer will reportedly vary between 10Mbps and 100Mbps, although the company has not provided any pricing details, as costs are to be negotiated on a case-by-case basis, dependent on the amount of infrastructure required for each estate.
Meanwhile, rival Vodacom has also revealed that it is actively deploying fibre cabling in business parks and is preparing to start fibre-optic network rollouts in selected gated communities. ‘We’re currently building the fibre backbone to make this possible’, a company representative told TechCentral, although he added that it was too early to give any ‘concrete details’ at this stage.