Go wireless, pay less

Telkom’s termination of its fixed-line copper services was first announced in 2015. The migration which commenced in mid 2019 has seen almost 98% of prepaid customers being moved to the wireless services at the time of writing this article.

While the shutting down of copper lines that carry traditional voice and ADSL connectivity was first mentioned over a year ago, this decision now makes it a reality; it is old technology that is difficult to maintain, is not as reliable, and is no longer suited to meeting the internet bandwidth requirements of users in a digital age.

“Telkom’s wireless service is more reliable than its copper-based technology and is less susceptible to interruptions as a result of adverse weather conditions, faults and cable theft,” the company said. Telkom will now migrate post-paid fixed copper users, including those on legacy DSL technology to fibre and wireless alternatives

“Based on the success of the upgrades, Telkom is now ready to discontinue its legacy, copper-based fixed-line prepaid service platform and will cut off ADSL in most areas with effect from 1 September 2020.”

The decision supports Telkom’s “strategic objective to decommission and replace its legacy copper technology”.

Today, copper telephone lines that support POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) are an aging infrastructure that’s getting more and more expensive to maintain. Major telephone providers have already started phasing out their support of analog POTS lines – promising for a full phase-out by 2020. These adjustments are pushing customers to look at other options to replace copper telephone connections.

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