Broadband: today and tomorrow
High-speed internet is essential to today's business world. So what is the current state of play, and what is the future broadband landscape likely to look like?
It’s hard to imagine a world without broadband. High speed internet is a gamechanger. It opens doors to new information and services, as well as huge savings and opportunities. Just look at how it has changed our lives. Television is being replaced by streaming media, music is now on-demand wherever we go, and we can have a video chat with someone in another country as if they were right next to us.
As a leading communications provider, Vodacom has proliferated broadband across the country, with connectivity over fixed Wireless and LTE even reaching small businesses in areas such Hermanus, Klerksdorp and even rural parts of the Free State. Areas previously reliant on bare bones connectivity affected by cable breaks and outages now have a choice of broadband offerings, meaning they too can have a Ready Business.
Today’s technology users can get high-speed fibre at their homes and workplaces, and where fibre is lacking, Vodacom can offer connectivity through their Broadband Wireless and satellite suite.
'Vodacom has been very proactive in leveraging on the broadband opportunity in South Africa,' said Fatima Hassim, Managing Executive: Products & Services Vodacom. 'In 2014 we launched our first Broadband Product Portfolio focusing on connectivity for the SME market. We launched with our entry level Broadband Connect Wireless Lite product that leverages on Vodacom’s extensive LTE coverage, as well as investing in a further cost-effective Fixed Wireless Premium service offering speeds of up to 80Mbps+ with a reach of more than 20km from the base station.
'While Vodacom's Broadband Connect Fibre offering provides high speed, low latency, future-proof connectivity for bandwidth intensive applications, the Wireless Lite offering provides a quick plug-and-play internet connection that gets your office connected in no time. On top of that, it is not susceptible to cable theft. You can also subscribe to a Voice-Over-IP (VOIP) telephony service for your small office calling needs.
'Broadband Connect Wireless Premium provides internet speeds of up to 80Mbps in areas where it is not viable to deploy fibre. It offers the ability to provide IP Talk voice services and other cloud-based offerings over synchronous connectivity, fully provisioned by our skilled technicians in days, not weeks,' says Fatima.
It’s through broadband that we can all access services such as email, unified communications and products in the cloud. Sharing content and meeting with others has never been so seamless and convenient.
This is all part of Vodacom’s vision, says Fatima: 'Today we differentiate with our wide choice of broadband products, ensuring that they offer easy, simple and affordable connectivity solutions, and at the same time help businesses be ready for their digital transformation, no matter where they are.'
Whatever the need, Vodacom’s wide array of broadband products can fill the gap, whether over microwave, LTE, Fibre or Satellite. Tenants in malls that are often left high and dry with a lack of connectivity options for their internet and networking needs will soon be able to subscribe to our high-speed, fibre based services under Vodacom's Broadband Connect Mall brand.
Looking into the near future, what can we expect? Fatima points to the looming arrival of 5G, a communications standard that is beyond anything on the market. It’s much faster, as well as highly responsive, and will even help power things like remotely controlled robots. Another broadband revolution currently growing is software-defined networks (SD-WAN), a revolutionary approach to cloud-based networking that aims to improve performance and monitoring and enable seamless protocol management and failover between managed and broadband services.
'Big data analytics through Internet of Things (IOT) and WiFi over broadband offerings deployed in public spaces is another growth area we see ourselves taking customers into the future using our high speed, reliable and secure broadband services,' she says.
'Vodacom will accelerate every business's digital evolution by 2020 with our interlinked products, creating total customer solutions that will be designed to connect people, applications, clouds and networks around the world.'
The future is looking brighter than ever. From self-driving cars to smart speakers, being connected is creating wonderful new possibilities every day. Work and play, Vodacom will be right there with the best, latest and fastest technology - today and tomorrow.