Telkom said on Tuesday that it has increased the number of homes it has passed with fibre over the past year, by 30.8%, to 393,101.
Fibre to the cabinet is up 7.7% to 2,286,595, it said in its interim financial results for the period ended September 2018.
Telkom said that Openserve, its fibre division, improved revenue by 0.9% to R8.665 billion, “mainly driven by growth in fibre to the businesses connected of which 59.5% are utilising our ethernet base products”.
In the period, Telkom launched the first Unlimited LTE offering, including VoLTE.
“We are seeing significantly more fibre customers, albeit from a low base, driven by an increase in new-to-franchise businesses and the migration of DSL customers to fibre. Our fibre acceleration has been stimulated by the ongoing on-boarding of third party fibre network service providers to extend the fibre reach,” said chief executive officer, Sipho Maseko.
“Across the fibre ecosystem, we see steady growth and have continued our journey to provide value-based pricing to our clients. In this endeavour we will introduce increased bandwidth and optimise pricing to stimulate further connectivity growth.”
The chief executive said that the company has been ‘prudent’ in its investment of its fibre to the home strategy, but has improved its fibre to the home connectivity rate to 35.6%, from 24.5% in the prior year.
Capex on fibre was down nearly 50% to R598 million out of a total capital investment of R3.3 billion.
“The investment in fibre to the home was rationalised in the period as we continue to focus on areas which show a propensity for higher connectivity rates,” Maseko said.
Telkom said that to meet the demands of increased speed, capacity, lower latency and the digitalisation of the network fabric, the ongoing deployment of packet optical transport network across national and regional fibre routes, gives us the opportunity to deploy technologies that can enable an exponential increase in data traffic.
“Through the deployment, we have the ability to introduce higher speed offerings of up to 200 Mbps to our fibre-to-the-home base. The improved technology evolution has continued to drive our consumption, with an increase of 25.1% on fixed-line broadband data,” it said.
Telkom also announced a minimum fibre to the home speed offering starting at 10 Mbps, effective from January 2019.
Looking ahead, the group said it intends to accelerate the migration of customers to newer technologies including fixed wireless access (LTE) and fibre network, particularly in areas where customers are on copper.