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By 5 October 2012 | Categories: news

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In what it is billing as a critical milestone in its plans to deliver the next generation of mobile technology, 8ta has invited qualifying customers to participate in a Long Term Evolution (LTE) trial.

The trial, which will be available to 8ta customerswithin the operator’s LTE coverage areas across the Gauteng region,will run from 1 November 2012 until 31 March 2013.

8ta elaborated that the LTE service offered for the trial will entail a 50 GB data bundle, which will be offered as a free service, and an LTE enabled device, which includes routers, mobile data modems and SIM card.

While the LTE enabled router will be able to cater to a maximum of 32 Wi-Fi enabled devices simultaneously, and will further offer a 15 m coverage range indoors, the mobile data modem is aimed at individual users who use a USB interface on their notebooks and desktop computers.

Never-ending need for speed

In order to take advantage of the trial, the senior managing executive for Telkom Mobile, Amith Maharaj, encouraged customers to visit the 8ta LTE website from the 10th of October to confirm if there is LTE coverage in their area via the online coverage map. If there area is included, users can then apply to participate in the trial.

“We are excited about this milestone reached and we believe that this trial is a critical step in taking a new technology like this to market,” commented Maharaj.

“The demand for faster, superior mobile data services is mounting and subscribers will have the opportunity to test the fastest data speeds ever experienced in South Africa. Our engineers have been testing the technology and have achieved peak speeds of up to 90 Mbps for downloads and up to 25 Mbps for uploads using the appropriate end user device,” he added.

Maharaj also pointed to the benefits of lower latency offered on the LTE platform which will enhance the experience for real time gaming and video streaming.

Two way trial

“This trial will help us better understand the requirements of our customers and the feedback from the participants regarding performance and the overall experience will inform the refining of our commercial offerings to better align with customer’s needs,” he continued.

While the announcement may be quite sudden, the preparations for the trial have been in the works for quite some time. According to Maharaj, Telkom has been testing the LTE service internally for approximately a year already. He therefore reassured that the company has “all the building blocks in place to deliver this technology”.

He further explained that the feedback from this trial is crucial to closing the gap on our development of the best LTE offerings that it can offer its customers.

To the point

To our minds, the trial is certainly positive and exciting news, and most definitely a step in the right direction. Indeed, as experience has shown, connection speeds can never be too fast or too good. Hopefully, 8ta’s trial will usher in the beginnings of connection speeds that are ‘much faster’ and ‘much better.’  

In related news, Telkom has invited qualifying customers to participate in the Telkom high speed broadband pilot programme which will serve up speeds of 40 Mbps. 

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