MTN has laid down its first fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) connections in La Lucia as part of a planned R1.2 billion upgrade to its KwaZulu-Natal network.

The company is currently on a drive to add more residential suburbs to its network, and in addition to KwaZulu-Natal, it has also started work in Fresnaye and Bakoven in the Western Cape with the aim of connecting 1 000 homes by the end of the year.

In comparison, FTTH giant Telkom has set itself a target of reaching a million homes by the end of 2018.

“MTN’s deployment of a fibre network in La Lucia marks an important milestone in our FTTH ambitions as it reaffirms our commitment to become a key player in this arena. Equally important, it allows us to give the residents of La Lucia a high performing network that will bring them into the digital age and offer them a distinct customer experience,” said Alpheus Mangale, MTN Business SA Chief Enterprise Officer, in a media statement.

The FTTH open access network in La Lucia is being installed at MTN’s own cost, which it will also maintain for the duration of its lifespan. Being an open access network, it means that residents that want FTTH don’t necessarily need to sign a contract with MTN, but are free to make use of a service provider of their choice.

“This open access network provides customers with a flexible platform that will allow any independent internet service provider (ISP) with a valid electronic communications services licence, and which has signed an agreement with MTN, to integrate the services they provide to end-users,” Mangale concluded.

MTN has also been on a drive to expand its LTE coverage in KZN, with around 700 LTE sites dotted around the province.

[Image – CC by 2.0/Bob Goyetche]
Charlie started his professional life as a motoring journalist for a community newspaper in Mpumalanga, Charlie explored different journalistic angles since his entry into the fast-paced world of publishing in 2006. While fostering a passion for the arts, Charlie developed a love for technology – both which allowed him to serve as Entertainment and Technology Editor for an online publication. Charlie has since been heavily involved in consumer technology for various websites and publications. He thoroughly enjoys World War II films and cerebral documentaries; aviation; photography and indie music. Oh yes, and he also has a rather strange obsession with collecting coffee mugs from his travels.