HomeAccessVuma and Huawei team up to launch 50G PON in South Africa 

    Vuma and Huawei team up to launch 50G PON in South Africa 


    Vuma is testing out the new technology, which will deliver more than the existing 2.5Gbps capabilities 

    South African fibre-to-the-home provider Vuma has teamed up with Huawei to introduce 50G PON to its network. The technology integrates GPON, 10G PON, and 50G PON into one port, allowing for service upgrade on demand. 

    The companies said 50G PON’s capabilities – significantly higher than the existing 2.5Gbps capabilities currently in use – effectively “supports 10Gbps everywhere”. The two will begin testing the technology.  

    “Vuma’s investment in the testing and rollout of the new Huawei PON technology is future-proofing our network, which will allow us to enable much more capacity over the last mile fibre and increase speeds as our customers require – approximately 20 times faster than the current capabilities deployed,” says Vuma CTO Francois Swart. 

    Huawei launched its commercial 50G PON solution at MWC 2023, signing an MoU with Finnish telco Lounea to partner in 50G PON applications over the next five years. 

    “We’ve launched the best technology currently available in the African market with our top customer, Vuma, which speaks volumes to the values of innovation and empowerment through connectivity that Huawei and Vuma share,” said Huawei optical business product line VP Kim Jin. “Through this partnership, our goal, much like Vuma’s, is to support increased connectivity access to all South Africans, and to bridge the gap in access to high quality digital services.” 

    Local ownership 

    Vuma is an open-access wholesale FTTH provider installing fibre in residential suburbs – and claiming more than 33,000 km of fibre assets. It’s owned by Community Investment Ventures Holdings, along with sister open-access fibre infrastructure provider Dark Fibre Africa (DFA).  

    DFA has more than 13,400 km of fibre assets in the ground and owns fibre networks in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Midrand, Centurion and Pretoria, as well as in 24 smaller metros, such as East London, Polokwane, Tlokwe, Emalahleni and George. 

    Vuma claims pole position as the FTTH South African market leader in homes past and active subscribers, achieving around 37% market share in both verticals. In its most recent published results, Group revenue for the period increased by 26% to ZAR2,981m compared to the prior year of ZAR2,360m, driven by subscriber uptake growth for the year ending 31 March 2022. 

    In the same period, DFA’s current book value for its fibre optic network was more than ZAR9.5bn. DFA group revenue for the financial year ended 31 March 2022 increased marginally year-on-year to ZAR2,485m.