Telkom is South Africa’s premier telecommunications company who supply wireline and more recently wireless communication solutions. The company’s latest attempts at supplying telecommunications to the country involve LTE technology and fiber internet solutions. Introducing new technologies has translated into needing more engineers to assist with building an infrastructure that facilitates uninterrupted internet to the greater South African public. Telkom was one of the first companies in South Africa to offer uncapped broadband to the country through asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL). This meant that the country would get faster internet on copper lines. Only one problem. Copper Cable theft ran rampant in the country.

It is estimated that cable theft has cost South Africa $321 million (ZAR5 billion). In the last year alone, Telkom has forked out $12.8 million (ZAR200 million) to repair cable theft damage and to organize security companies to safeguard their copper facilities. 

Telkom’s group executive for communications, Jacqui O’ Sullivan said: “It is clear that the price of copper and its strong demand in international markets are catalysts of this crime.” She went on to say, “These criminals now target our manholes armed with customise heavy duty vehicles, allowing them to hitch the cable to the vehicle and drive out kilometres of cable, cutting off thousands of customers, in a single incident.” 

The company is trying it all it can to ensure their customers migrate to wireless technologies that are less of a target for criminals, namely, LTE and fibre technologies. Even Usain Bolt has joined the migration:

However, just as 4G/LTE becomes the norm for South Africans, 5G is being tested by engineers in the United States. 5G will be the powering force behind the Internet of Things. Huawei has reportedly said that their tests have been successful. The company said that they were able to successfully improve spectrum efficiency. We should be seeing the advent of 5G becoming part of our daily lives perhaps as soon as 2017, according to network engineers in the industry. 

Source: The Citizen 

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