At the 25th AfricaCom (AfricaCom 2022) themed “Driving Inclusive, Sustainable Growth Through Tech Investment”, Openserve and Huawei jointly unveiled the new home networking solution — fiber to the room (FTTR). In addition, Openserve outlined its plan to put FTTR products into commercial use in the near future, aiming to provide optimal fiber broadband experience for users across South Africa.
As a subsidiary of Telkom SA, Openserve is the largest fixed network operator in South Africa, and is committed to providing premium broadband networks for home and enterprise users. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, home office, online learning, and entertainment activities have surged, placing greater demands on bandwidth and online experience. Openserve believes that the FTTR solution can give them a competitive edge in the broadband market and significantly improve end users’ home network experience.
During the AfricaCom exhibition, Motlalepula Ramaisa, Executive of Commercial Products & Innovation of Openserve, spoke with Matthew Reed, Chief Analyst of Omdia, and described the commercial FTTR pilot projects carried out by Openserve and Huawei in South Africa. He noted how well the FTTR network was received by pilot users. According to one user: “Even in a large house, I can enjoy an optimal Internet access experience with high-speed Wi-Fi coverage at every corner.”
FTTR consists of one master FTTR unit and several slave FTTR units connected by optical fibers, realizing indoor all-optical networking. The Master and Slave communicate with each other through optical fibers, which avoiding Wi-Fi signal interference and attenuation in distant rooms. In this way, full Wi-Fi signal coverage and seamless roaming can be achieved throughout the house, providing consistent Wi-Fi access and premium service experience anywhere in the home. Compare with Wi-Fi Mesh (Wi-Fi cascading to expand network coverage) solution, which Internet access rate may be impacted due to attenuation and interference when signals penetrate walls, but it is still an alternative way of Wi-Fi connection.
Moreover, the FTTR solution lets users manage the network themselves. Users can use a mobile app to easily manage their home networks anytime and anywhere, including checking the network status, device connection status, and Wi-Fi signal coverage, as well as performing a speed test, parental control, and one-click optimization or rectification of common network faults.
The FTTR solution was well received in the pilot projects. Owing to the high-speed Wi-Fi coverage, seamless roaming handover, and intelligent and visualized home network management, it provides users with an ultimate Wi-Fi experience. Building on the success of the cooperation with Huawei, Openserve plans to launch commercial FTTR products in 2023 to provide an optimal home broadband service experience across South Africa.