The Future of ADSL Technology | How bleak thou art …
That Telkom is shutting down its ADSL services in several neighborhoods in South Africa is an open secret. Telkom, in a statement to its customers, announced that it will discontinue copper-based services in areas with fibre broadband.
The company points to the numerous benefits that come with the use of cloud technology as the main reason behind the move. The traditional telephone system has inefficiencies because it is based on an old and poor-quality copper infrastructure.
Say goodbye to Installation costs !
What is ADSL technology?
ADSL is an acronym for Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber line. Under this data communications technology, data transmission is done through copper telephone lines. In ADSL, bandwidth and bit rate are said to be asymmetric which means they do not have equal download/ upload speeds. It is suited mainly for downloading content from the internet.
ADSL was developed as an improvement on Dialup modems whose main limitation was using phone lines with limited signal carrying capacity. A user could not receive phone calls while surfing. Traffic was also annoyingly slow.
ADSL delivers guaranteed high speeds because it uses a higher frequency. Actually, it offers 30 to 40 times more speed than the dial-up modem. Additionally, it offers higher quality voice services and more capacity for downloads than uploads.
However, ADSL is not all that glamorous, it has its own downside.
Disadvantages of ADSL technology
- It is not available everywhere as it uses copper lines as a medium for signal transmission.
- Connection speed is reduced as the distance from the central transmitter increases as stated here. Thus, it serves the users closer to the Internet Service Provider’s central premises the most.
- Relies heavily on various external factors i.e. the quality of service depends on the quality of the copper lines used, the distance from the plant and fluctuations in the flow of service
So, what are the alternatives?
There are various alternatives to this technology with one underlying common purpose which is to address the distance limitation:
High speed. Stable internet. No buffering. The list is endless. These are all the good things that come with upgrading from ADSL to Fibre. Signals can be sent over longer distances because fibre cables are resistant to external electromagnetic interference.
Microwave links are made up of radio waves that operate at high frequencies. It is theses waves that are responsible for transmitting huge amounts of data from one point to another. This technology is quick and efficient.
Microwave technology comes with a dedicated bandwidth. What this means is that you don’t get to share your bandwidth. Bandwidth is the maximum data transfer rate of a network at a specific given time over a specific connection. More bandwidth translates to more data that can be sent at a given time.
“It is not you… it is us”. To ADSL we say: It has been real. The experience has been wonderful. Thanks. But times are changing and so should we. You might come around again in future as a more robust alternative, we shall never know … but now is a time to call it quits. It is not that we are not appreciative of your service, but please do call again in the near future!