18 January 2011
Workers are busy digging narrow roadside trenches and laying down cables in the Western Cape towns of Stellenbosch, Somerset West, Paarl and Wellington, as South African mobile operator Vodacom starts to expand its fibre-optic network into the area.
Vodacom Business’ Ermano Quartero says the fibre-optic cabling brings customers easy, rapid transfer of large amounts of data, and is ideal for services that require smooth data provisioning, such as video conferencing.
Fibre-optic cabling is also important to applications like the internet, telephone systems and, in some countries, cable television.
“We are constantly requested by consumers and companies for increased internet bandwidth and faster connectivity,” Quartero said in a statement last week.
The current network consists of 23 kilometres of cable in Stellenbosch, from Kuilsrivier to Stellenbosch and approximately half of the Stellenbosch to Somerset West Road; 48km of cable in Somerset West, including the remaining half of the Stellenbosch/Somerset West Road, and the N2 to Mitchells Plain; 49km of cable in Paarl and Wellington; and 38km of optic spurs in Stellenbosch, Paarl and Somerset West.
“Having fibre in these areas makes it possible for our customers to have access to the vast range of services we offer, such as voice, video and networked storage and hosting,” Quartero said.
Advantages over copper cable
According to Vodacom Business, fibre-optic cabling has advantages over standard copper coaxial cables, in that it can transmit larger quantities of data with far less loss, is able to maintain signals over long distances, carries little risk of corrosion, and is virtually free from interference.
“To provide customers with the services they demand we need a high-bandwidth, low-cost, reliable last-mile service. Vodacom Business is able to now meet these needs,” Quartero said.
“The fibre-optic cables now installed in the Paarl-Wellington-Stellenbosch area bring high-speed, business-quality connectivity to the many companies situated in this important hub and open a wide variety of enterprise-class solutions to them.”
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