03/01/2018
OLT4 in Under served community
Reason for Installation
A small UFiber rollout with unique challenges.
Used Products
×1
×1
Location
Sheikh Yusuf Rd, Macassar, Cape Town, 7134, South Africa
Description

We have had a high site next to the one of the holiest sites in Islam in South Africa for some years.

This particular area is semi rural with the land being owned by various trusts. The vast majority of residents are direct decendents of Sheik Yusuf of Macassar - who brought Islam to South Africa.

Copper theft is a serious problem in South Africa. If you lay it, they will steal it. This community has suffered from copper theft to a point where the local state owned telco simply refuse to offer fixed landline or dsl services.

This is great when you're providing wireless and you're the only company doing so.

Human greed is what it is. Over the past two years, we've seen several competitors build masts - often in contravention of local planning laws - in an attempt to eat away at our market. Once they realized that the majority of the residents were intensely loyal to us, they simply started cranking up their APs' output power, causing interference and unhappy clients.

We therefore decided to do something about it, and made a decision to move the residents from wireless to fibre.

 

Trenching around 300 year old graves in what's for all intents and purposes sand dunes with a trencher, was far from fun. Discovering undocumented utilities turned out to be quite shocking.

 

I had to laugh at the trenching machine operator's comment when he hit a 1,000V line; "It's OK, I was earthed. The blade was in the ground".

 

In the end we abandoned the trencher and dug by hand.

 

2017-03-22 15.18.39.jpg

 

2017-03-22 15.19.10.jpg

 

2017-03-22 15.25.04.jpg

 

2017-03-22 15.25.51.jpg

 2017-04-27 10.52.28.jpg

 

2017-04-27 10.54.15.jpg

 

2017-04-27 11.10.09.jpg

 

2017-04-27 16.47.02.jpg

 

 

 

Inititally we rolled out an active network by adding a Mikrotik fibre switch to our existing wireless POP.

 

 

2018-02-19 at 10.35.23.jpeg

 

k1.JPG

 

It soon became evident that this was not a long term solution. I would need a 42U cabinet full of switches with masses of fibre running all over the place by the time we'd reached each house.

 

I subsequently put the project on hold until technology could catch up.

 

Then a little game changer crossed my path.

 

Enter the OLT4.

 

2018-01-26 13.22.26.jpg

 

2018-01-26 13.23.34.jpg

 

2018-01-26 13.35.02.jpg

 

 

After holding a town hall meeting, the date for the big changeover was set for Monday 19 Feb 2018.

 

Out went the RB1100 and the MT switch.

 

In went a CCR1036 and the OLT4.

 

2018-02-19 at 11.01.19.jpeg

 

 

Our one fibre team set about changing the fibre design from active (PTP) to PON (PTMP), installing splitters from fs.com inside various dome joints and remapping the fibre network.

2018-02-19 20.02.02.jpg

 

2018-02-19 at 15.52.33.jpeg

 

2018-02-19 at 15.52.33a.jpeg

 

2018-02-19 at 15.52.35a.jpeg

 

 

A second team went door to door, removing the MT FTCs and replacing them with Nano-Gs.

2018-02-19 at 14.43.04.jpeg

 

2018-02-19 at 14.43.05.jpeg

 

2018-02-19 at 14.43.06.jpeg

 

2018-02-19 at 14.43.07.jpeg

 

2018-02-19 at 14.43.07a.jpeg

 

2018-02-19 at 14.43.08.jpeg

 

 

One of the major problems impeding the rapid rollout of FTTH in South Africa is that most of the large players want to target high nett worth / "rich" communities. We have one development where we installed an OLT8, where a second fibre provider is running fibre next to us, with a third in the wings, also wanting a share of the "rich people" pie.

 

This is not a well to do community.

 

After the local telco removed their copper and our wireless started being hammered by interference, residents suddenly found themselves either having to pay through their nose for LTE that worked if the wind was blowing in the right direction, or go without.

 

This is a true community upliftment project. Since switching over from active to PON, we've been able to connect more users to the network, we've been able to reduce the product price and we're able to subsidise the installations on a 24 month contract, meaning people that could never dream of saving up the capital needed to join the information super highway are not only on it, but they've rolling in the fast lane.

 

An OLT4 is cheap as chips. You can put it behind a AF5X, an AF11FX or even a cheap 17GHz link, build a micro pop and service 250 houses quickly and at a reasonable price. The unit itself has a throughput of 2.5Gb with potential to connect 512 ONUs, but if we're realistic, 500+ ONUs on 2.5Gb is a recipe for unhappy clients.

 

The next item on my wish list is an OLT2.

 

OLT4 integrates nicely with unms.

 

k2.JPG

 

 

It doesn't like short fibre runs between the OLT and users. We had to add a second splitter on the 324m link for no reason other than to create resistance. When powered on and connected through a single four way splitter, the ONU showed a power reading of "5". No data flowed. We then cut the fibre and spliced in a two way splitter between the 4 way and the OLT. Happiness and joy.

 

Of course, no story of this nature would be complete without human greed showing it's ugly face again.

 

No sooner had we completed the switch over, or one of our wireless competitors approached one client, offering to pay the clients' fibre subs if they would permit the competitor to build a high site on their roof.

 

The customer saw dollar signs. Next thing, this was on his roof.

 

 

2018-02-19 at 10.01.54.jpeg

 

 

 

Needless to say, that didn't fly by us.

 

Today (being the first of the month), we removed the ONU and the router from the (now ex) client's home to great protestations.

 

That data thief's cunning plan just came to a sticky end.

 

The OLT4 is clever. It immediately auto re arranged the remaining connections.

1/4 became 1/3

1/5 became 1/4

and so on.

 k3.JPG

 

 

I'll say this one last time. The OLT4 is a game changer.

 

 

 

 

 

OLT4 in Under served community

by ‎03-01-2018 02:44 PM - edited ‎03-01-2018 02:45 PM

We have had a high site next to the one of the holiest sites in Islam in South Africa for some years.

This particular area is semi rural with the land being owned by various trusts. The vast majority of residents are direct decendents of Sheik Yusuf of Macassar - who brought Islam to South Africa.

Copper theft is a serious problem in South Africa. If you lay it, they will steal it. This community has suffered from copper theft to a point where the local state owned telco simply refuse to offer fixed landline or dsl services.

This is great when you're providing wireless and you're the only company doing so.

Human greed is what it is. Over the past two years, we've seen several competitors build masts - often in contravention of local planning laws - in an attempt to eat away at our market. Once they realized that the majority of the residents were intensely loyal to us, they simply started cranking up their APs' output power, causing interference and unhappy clients.

We therefore decided to do something about it, and made a decision to move the residents from wireless to fibre.

 

Trenching around 300 year old graves in what's for all intents and purposes sand dunes with a trencher, was far from fun. Discovering undocumented utilities turned out to be quite shocking.

 

I had to laugh at the trenching machine operator's comment when he hit a 1,000V line; "It's OK, I was earthed. The blade was in the ground".

 

In the end we abandoned the trencher and dug by hand.

 

2017-03-22 15.18.39.jpg

 

2017-03-22 15.19.10.jpg

 

2017-03-22 15.25.04.jpg

 

2017-03-22 15.25.51.jpg

 2017-04-27 10.52.28.jpg

 

2017-04-27 10.54.15.jpg

 

2017-04-27 11.10.09.jpg

 

2017-04-27 16.47.02.jpg

 

 

 

Inititally we rolled out an active network by adding a Mikrotik fibre switch to our existing wireless POP.

 

 

2018-02-19 at 10.35.23.jpeg

 

k1.JPG

 

It soon became evident that this was not a long term solution. I would need a 42U cabinet full of switches with masses of fibre running all over the place by the time we'd reached each house.

 

I subsequently put the project on hold until technology could catch up.

 

Then a little game changer crossed my path.

 

Enter the OLT4.

 

2018-01-26 13.22.26.jpg

 

2018-01-26 13.23.34.jpg

 

2018-01-26 13.35.02.jpg

 

 

After holding a town hall meeting, the date for the big changeover was set for Monday 19 Feb 2018.

 

Out went the RB1100 and the MT switch.

 

In went a CCR1036 and the OLT4.

 

2018-02-19 at 11.01.19.jpeg

 

 

Our one fibre team set about changing the fibre design from active (PTP) to PON (PTMP), installing splitters from fs.com inside various dome joints and remapping the fibre network.

2018-02-19 20.02.02.jpg

 

2018-02-19 at 15.52.33.jpeg

 

2018-02-19 at 15.52.33a.jpeg

 

2018-02-19 at 15.52.35a.jpeg

 

 

A second team went door to door, removing the MT FTCs and replacing them with Nano-Gs.

2018-02-19 at 14.43.04.jpeg

 

2018-02-19 at 14.43.05.jpeg

 

2018-02-19 at 14.43.06.jpeg

 

2018-02-19 at 14.43.07.jpeg

 

2018-02-19 at 14.43.07a.jpeg

 

2018-02-19 at 14.43.08.jpeg

 

 

One of the major problems impeding the rapid rollout of FTTH in South Africa is that most of the large players want to target high nett worth / "rich" communities. We have one development where we installed an OLT8, where a second fibre provider is running fibre next to us, with a third in the wings, also wanting a share of the "rich people" pie.

 

This is not a well to do community.

 

After the local telco removed their copper and our wireless started being hammered by interference, residents suddenly found themselves either having to pay through their nose for LTE that worked if the wind was blowing in the right direction, or go without.

 

This is a true community upliftment project. Since switching over from active to PON, we've been able to connect more users to the network, we've been able to reduce the product price and we're able to subsidise the installations on a 24 month contract, meaning people that could never dream of saving up the capital needed to join the information super highway are not only on it, but they've rolling in the fast lane.

 

An OLT4 is cheap as chips. You can put it behind a AF5X, an AF11FX or even a cheap 17GHz link, build a micro pop and service 250 houses quickly and at a reasonable price. The unit itself has a throughput of 2.5Gb with potential to connect 512 ONUs, but if we're realistic, 500+ ONUs on 2.5Gb is a recipe for unhappy clients.

 

The next item on my wish list is an OLT2.

 

OLT4 integrates nicely with unms.

 

k2.JPG

 

 

It doesn't like short fibre runs between the OLT and users. We had to add a second splitter on the 324m link for no reason other than to create resistance. When powered on and connected through a single four way splitter, the ONU showed a power reading of "5". No data flowed. We then cut the fibre and spliced in a two way splitter between the 4 way and the OLT. Happiness and joy.

 

Of course, no story of this nature would be complete without human greed showing it's ugly face again.

 

No sooner had we completed the switch over, or one of our wireless competitors approached one client, offering to pay the clients' fibre subs if they would permit the competitor to build a high site on their roof.

 

The customer saw dollar signs. Next thing, this was on his roof.

 

 

2018-02-19 at 10.01.54.jpeg

 

 

 

Needless to say, that didn't fly by us.

 

Today (being the first of the month), we removed the ONU and the router from the (now ex) client's home to great protestations.

 

That data thief's cunning plan just came to a sticky end.

 

The OLT4 is clever. It immediately auto re arranged the remaining connections.

1/4 became 1/3

1/5 became 1/4

and so on.

 k3.JPG

 

 

I'll say this one last time. The OLT4 is a game changer.

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments
by
on ‎03-01-2018 03:50 PM

Digging by hand Incazzato yikes !

by
on ‎03-01-2018 04:08 PM

Great story. If the wireless competitor wants to pay for a business fibre line, sign him on as a client and give him an IP range of yours. When people use speedtest's on the web they'll see your network Man Happy

by
on ‎03-01-2018 05:58 PM

Great Story!   The OLT-4 is definitely a game changer.

by
on ‎03-01-2018 09:21 PM

@phiberThat would have a negative impact on their bottom line. We also don't provide wholesale services to unlicensed service providers.

by Ubiquiti Employee
‎03-02-2018 12:15 AM - edited ‎03-02-2018 12:22 AM

@cape-connect Awesome story, well written as always. It's great to see OLT4 being used to bring fiber Internet access to lower-income communites. I particularly like the idea of the wireless backhaul to the GPON network. 

by Ubiquiti Employee
on ‎03-02-2018 04:50 AM

@cape-connect Very nice install once again! Thanks for taking the time to document and share your experience. 

by
on ‎03-07-2018 02:11 AM

Do you have any way to prevent people from just ripping the fibre out the ground because they think it's copper?

by
on ‎03-07-2018 02:57 AM

@JonnyMThe community guard the fibre with their lives.

 

I fear if they were to catch someone as much as opening a manhole, he probably won't make it to the police station.

 

 

by
on ‎03-07-2018 07:54 PM

Great story! I love to see fibre going in.

by
on ‎03-15-2018 12:27 PM

So the customer allowed that data theif to tap into their (your) fibre connection and steal internet off you?