[balancing act] Fibre-To-The-Home is beginning to be announced in Africa's larger markets: Jamii Telecoms in Kenya, i3Africa in South Africa and Algerie Telecom has been piloting it. But for most telcos, the next stage after fibre metronets is rolling out Fibre-To-The-Cabinet.
Both offer a route for fixed line telcos to re-invent themselves and position themselves ahead of the competition but there is a need for a good combination of a strong fibre network investment and content services to deliver over the newly created network.
Mauritius is part of Africa but is very different from it. There are higher wealth levels and it is a geographically compact island with good infrastructure, including a high level of fixed line penetration.
Orange Mauritius started investing in Fibre-To-The-Cabinet with a pilot test in the west coast resort of Wolmar as far back as 2006 and by 2007 it had 15 cabinets in place and that has been built up to 77 cabinets this year. According to CEO Sarat Lallah:"We're still rolling out and want to increase the coverage so that it's island-wide. We place the cabinet on the street and the last mile is copper."
The overall objective is to give fibre coverage to all but a very small percentage of the population by 2015. Alongside this network, it has rolled out Fibre-To-The-Company:"We've deployed fibre to hotels using our GPON network and to companies in Cyber City in Ebene. All Government offices have four 100 mbps connections."
Orange Mauritius Turns IPTV And Fibre-to-the-Cabinet Into 'A Driver for Growth'