Orcon delays VDSL2 in favour of SHDSL

Number of cities where Orcon has unbundled exchanges climbs to six this week

From March Orcon plans to launch a symmetrical broadband service in central Auckland exchanges where the company has installed its own infrastructure.

Head of sales and marketing Taryn Hamilton says the SHDSL (Symmetric High-speed Digital Subscriber Line) service offers download and upload speeds of between 10 Mbit/s and 20 Mbit/s.

Orcon is pitching this new service at the business market, in particular SMBs with high bandwidth needs. “It is primarily going to be in the Auckland CBD to start with, but we are just going to roll it out to as many exchanges as customer demand warrants. That is happening in March and April,” he says.

Hamilton says SHDSL is more flexible than VDSL because it uses multiple phone lines that are bonded together, as opposed to a single copper pair. This means the footprint for SHDSL is potentially larger – up to two kilometres from the exchange, as opposed to 700 metres which is the case with VDSL2.

“SHDSL is a higher priority at the moment [and we will] look more seriously at VDSL later,” he says.

Retail plans have yet to be finalised, but Hamilton is promising competitive pricing. “[It will] probably be 50 percent more economical then some of the products available on the market,” he claims.

Orcon says this week two LLU exchanges are set to go live in Christchurch and Dunedin (both are central exchanges). Last week it announced it had unbundled exchanges in Hamilton and Tauranga in addition to Auckland and Wellington. Hamilton says Orcon is aiming for a 10 percent market share in each exchange.

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