Saturday, December 16, 2006

Speedy broadband triple play coming in 2007

2007 should see South Africans accessing a new broadcast offering, with triple play delivered directly into the home via an ordinary wall socket. Service provider Goal Technology Solutions uses power-line communication (PLC) to bring a combined offering of broadband Internet access, voice telephony and television programming directly into the home via an established electrical connection. "In essence this means that you can get all your telecommunications and broadcast packages from a single service provider that enters your home through a single plug point," explains CEO Adrian Maguire.

A licence to provide GTV, a subscription-TV bouquet that will offer video-on-demand and pay-per-view television, is how GTS intends to achieve the goal of competing seriously. "Firstly we must deliver our services at an affordable rate and secondly we need to offer something unique," says Maguire.

Maguire guarantees that its broadband service will operate at a speed of 90 Mbps, supposedly 22 times faster than Telkom's fastest broadband offering. This will enable users to enjoy multiple high-definition television channels at the same time as having access to broadband Internet and telephony.

At the helm of GTV is former CEO for ICASA's broadcasting, Eric Nhlapo. "Eighty one percent of South Africans have electricity in their homes and as this is the means by which we can provide them with GTV, there are 37 million people who can subscribe to our services and select particular channels they would like to watch. Eventually we will expand into video surveillance and gaming as well," he explains.

GTS expects to receive its license to broadcast well before the middle of next year and is committed to broadband for all. Maguire says, "Our business model has been developed to ensure job creation and sustainable skills transfer and, above all, to provide all South Africans with a multifarious communications offering that they can afford."

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