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My Broadband Conference 09

Posted on Nov 22 in News-Public, O-TELby Press OfficerPrint

O-Tel CEO Attended the MyBB09,
Below are his brief notes.

Vodacom Exec says their 3G capacity is managed well, and stations have capacity to upgrade when traffic increases……..-I disagree.. O-Tel clients using VC’s 3G based networks face latency issues on a daily basis. Oversubscription plenty!

IBurst CEO says VOIP received bad reputation because new entrants tried every trick in the book to make calls on the cheap. A symmetrical broadband connection is needed, but SA doesn’t have it. ADSL is contented and not stable.
He adds that all voice providers will ultimately end up with VOIP, but if SA has no last mile connectivity.

VOX CEO disagrees, he mentions that he has many clients on ADSL and it is ready. He has some problems with ADSL in certain areas, but he is running a profitable business by running VOIP over ADSL.

IBURST CEO says that their new microwave link has a 10:1 contention ratio on a symmetrical service. It is designed for VOIP…and he hopes that Doug, CEO of VOX signs up as a client with IBURST.

NEOTEL Exec apologies for inconvenience caused when digging up roads. He adds that Neotel does have a similar product to Iburst. However they focus on Fibre based Metronet.
VOX CEO says that LLU and number portability will be dragged on as regulator not putting pressure and Taking advantage.

Webafrica CEO says that standalone DSL line should be made available, and not only with a analog voice service. Unbundling is very expensive. It would be beneficial if another network provider can provide an ADSL2+ network. Us Network providers must be able to get access to the exchanges.

Iburst CEO says that they have rolled out a few DSLAMS, expected to release as soon as LLU gets approved by government.

Q. What changes needed to bring down the cost of bandwidth?
A.Vodacom exec says that prices have come down over the past few years, due to new technology, shared infrastructure and co-building with Neotel and MTN.
VOX CEO says its cheaper to go buy the video than download it, but it will change in 2 yrs time max.

Q. Multichoice is having difficulty to setup IPTV as the bandwidth account mixed with Local and International. When will it be separated?
A. Webafrica says Not possible due to Telkom’s wholesale model. However when the 2 cables come into operation, it will change. O-Tel disagrees, as we have an agreement with Telkom to split local and International. Neotel says they treat the internet as one and they blend the cost at one price. Even though 99 percent of the internet world is outside South Africa.

Q.What is restricting upload speeds? why are they so low?
A. Lack of bandwidth in South Africa. it will change within the next 2 years.

Q.What is being done to promote local bandwidth and reduce international bandwidth?
A. Webafrica is focusing on this in a major way. They will reduce hosting costs to ensure servers are kept locally.

Q. When ADSL launched, the cost of bandwidth was cheaper, what happened in the market to increase costs?
A. No response…unclear that bandwidth was cheaper when adsl was launched. According to O-Tel, 1GB was R179, now it is R60.

Q. Why is wireless Spectrum so scarce?
A. IBURST CEO There are people out there sitting with alot of Spectrum and not using it. The motto ‘use it or lose it’ just isn’t being actioned. Sentech is not using, Neotel and Telkom are not using it to the fullest.
NEOTEL’s Angus Hay disagrees with IBurst Janie van Zyl that they are not sitting on it.There is light at the end of the tunnel, but it takes times. LTE and 4G is expected from Neotel.
Vodacom Exec says that cheap networks just wont work.

Telkom exec, Telkom has spent $3bn in cable infrastructure. they welcome competition, but they need to recover ROI, so there will be pressure on pricing.

Seacom exec say, Seacom is live and have confidence that 400 operators (like O-Tel) will benefit by partnering with Seacom. There is currently cross-subsidisation going on.

DFA Exec says that their network is on track, going from CT to all the way to London.

Neotel exec says that after investing $15m into WACS to connect to Durban from the far East, it will add much benefits, and bring less pressure to Neotel’s wireless network. The costs would be initially about 20percent less.

Telkom exec says that the SAT-3 cable was expanded to 340mbps. not certain to upgrade further. but other technologies will be in place.

DFA exec says that 40gbps per fibre pair is what they’re currently running. which is very good.

Seacom exec says that when Seacom was switched on, there was silence. No noise in the retail market. NetworkOp’s were waiting for a couple of months, but now Seacom see discounts happening, so it’s filtering, but slow.

MTN exec says that broadband demand for them has increased from 110TB to 230TB.

Q. Vodacom, MTN and Neotel are building a network together. How big is the network and how will you compete?
A. MTN exec says that currently it has 80gb, but can increase 800gb as demand increase. W e will competing, not colluding.

Q.15 percent reduction in price is disgusting and disappointing.
A. WACS is a consortium in competition with other players. Price will be illustrated by how the dynamics of the competitive market is. We cannot predict with certainty what will happen next.

Seacom, WACS, SAT-3 and DFA, all on the same table…i’m surprised there was no bar brawl! multi-billion rand players, what power in one room!

Q. Does Telkom need to put additional fibre?
A.Telkom exec say that they’ve already started expanding countrywide with fibre. DWDM technology.

Seacom exec says that their cable is so big, but there is no backhaul capacity. There has to be a major upgrade on backhaul in order to utilise a higher percentage of bandwidth supplied by Seacom

MTN exec says that MTN is pushing short and long term simultaneously,, and keeping the high quality of service.

Q. Do you benchmark your pricing according to Telkom?
A. DFA- no, we do our own costing
Seacom-no, we took our cost and divided it by 5years (roaring laugh from attendants)

Telkom, they plan investing in millions of pigeons to transmit data/ re. winston the pigeon race…
- massive laugh from everyone!

Wireless ISP panel incl WUG is up!

had a good chat with IBurst CEO about where they’re going and the newly launched Wireless DSL..interesting.. meeting them tomorrow to take discussions further.

Ant Brooks from ISPA says that SA needs more Internet Cafes. More people need to go online.IS Exec says that dont expect low prices as yet, as there is much to do in infrastructure before this happens.Nology’s Rudolf Deidricks says that WIMAX spectrum has been successfully used in other parts of Africa, and SA is behind.

Q: Can we Torrent? What and what not can we do on the internet?
A: Ant Brooks: Illegal actvities are not allowed. Serious commercial hackers or pirates can even go to jail, but private users, not much can be done. ISP’s cannot monitor and police their clients as it is costly. Cannot cut off internet access for people as their is not assurance that such person is breaking the rules.
A: Mike Silber (Attorney), If there is a copyright infringement, then ISP must take legal action and give legal court notices, but why must they incur costs for the profitability and commercialisation of others? ISP who are mere conduits, why must they bear the brunt for failed business practices? Who are these companies who can say who is good and who is bad (website owners).

Q: to IS, do you care about what people do on your uncapped local DSL network?
A: IS Exec replies, ‘I shouldnt comment’ roary laugh from attendants. We’re in a position where we need to privide a good service, and enforce so rules can go our way. We will not run around stopping people doing what the internet does for them, and thatis from their privacy of their own homes.

Q. Rolf, will WIMAX live up to its expectations? Where will it fit within WIFI and LTE?
A. Wimax has ended its hype. Costs of deployment has reduced. Fixed WIMAX and Movile WIMAX has been up in Africa and its a very good replacement to ADSL. In Nigeria , an operator said that ‘if it touches the ground, it’s broken’, chuckle. WIMAX deployment has to be made simpler. It will be a very good ADSL replacement.

Q: To WUG, do you think WIMAX will takeover your WIFI network?
A: WUG Rep, i hope so, 2.4ghz is causing alot of problems. Cannot get more than 1km of un-interfered with link due to so many devices on that band.

Broadband Panel Discussion hosted by Brian Neilson
Doug Reed, Vox Telecom
Matthew Tagg, Web Africa
Andries Delport, Vodacom
Jannie van Zyl, iBurst
Angus Hay, Neotel

Bandwidth In SA Panel Discussion hosted by Duncan McLeod
Suveer Ramdhani, SEACOM
Johan Meyer, Telkom & SAT-3/SAFE
Kobus Stroeder, WACS
Sameer Dave, MTN
Malcolm Kirby, Dark Fibre Africa

Regulatory, ISP & Wireless Network Discussion hosted by Rudolph Muller
Ant Brooks, ISPA
Dominic Cull, Ellipsis Regulatory Solutions
Dawie Joubert, PTAWUG
Roelf Diedericks, Neology
Royden Dall, Internet Solutions

Conference Adjourned….will post my thoughts later.. Information overload, CPU needs to process data…

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