R/€ = 14.34
R/$ = 10.69
Au 1295.21 $/oz
Pt 1466.50 $/oz
Sep 21, 2007
Cellular group may spend R1,3bn on 5 000-km optical-fibre networkBack
Africa|Copper|JSE|MTN|PROJECT|Rosebank|SABMiller|Vodacom|Africa|South Africa|Backbone Network|Cellular Operator|Equipment|Fixed-line Network|Mobile Operator|Optical-fibre Network|Product|Products|Tim Lowry|Cables|Ethernet|MPLs
© Reuse this Mobile operator MTN has started the process to roll out some 5 000 km of optical-fibre network nationwide over the next two years, the company said earlier this month.
MTN South Africa MD Tim Lowry called the initiative “a massive self-provision investment” that would involve an estimated R1,2-billion to R1,3-billion, depend- ing on possible joint ventures or partnerships that are likely to be entered into during the course of the project.
Possible partners included new entrant Neotel and the country’s biggest cellular operator, Vodacom, which has also said that it plans to build a fixed-line network.
Lowry said that MTN would want to reduce the level of capital expenditure through partnerships.
MTN announced in June that it was considering entering the fixed-line business in South Africa to keep up with the growth in data traffic and cut one of the company’s biggest operational costs.
MTN said that it had designed and mapped out its own national backbone network, and was in the process of going out to tender to identify relevant suppliers and obtain final costings for the laying of the 5 000-km network.
The tender process is expected to be finalised by the end of the year.
MTN has already undertaken a pilot project with fibre-optic cables being laid between Sandton, Illovo and Rosebank. Lowry noted that the project “was largely deployed” at present. Companies such as SABMiller and the JSE have been involved in the project.
The first phase has involved a capital expenditure of about R8-mil- lion for the fibre and about R2-mil- lion for the equipment, Lowry noted.
He explained that the area in which the pilot project has been carried out was home to a number of financial services companies and large blue-chip organisations, and that MTN’s product offerings were well suited to these firms.
MTN will initially launch three products: an Ethernet MPLS, an Ethernet private-line service and a multitenant connect service. Future developments by the end of the year may include an Ethernet elocal area network, a dual connect, a full redundant connect, and a multi- tenant connect service that will use a building’s existing copper cabling for reticulation.
Lowry said that MTN was trying to build an environment where a company could have a centralised server and centralised applications and could run the entire business nationwide from the one location.
MTN Business head of network solutions Mike Brierley explained that the usual lead times attached to fibre-optics networks was about 12 months, but that MTN could roll out the service in between 6 and 12 weeks.
He added that bandwidth was flexible and could also be easily and quickly upgraded, where required.
Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other ICT News
Updated 1 hour 1 minute ago Changes had to be made in South Africa’s water and sanitation sector to ensure challenges were resolved effectively, as well as to fast-track the country’s socioeconomic transformation, Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane told delegates at the 2014...
Updated 1 hour 18 minutes ago Steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) has confirmed that the reline project at its Newcastle mill, in KwaZulu-Natal, has hit snags and that the project, which was initially expected to be completed four months after the May 12 shutdown began, will be...
Updated 1 hour 37 minutes ago The World Trade Organization failed on Thursday to reach a deal to standardise customs rules, which would have been the first global trade reform in two decades but was blocked by India's demands for concessions on agricultural stockpiling. "We have not been able to...
Recent Research Reports
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2014 (PDF Report)
This six-page brief covers key developments in the road and rail industries over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s road and rail network and prospects for both sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Steel 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the steel industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the global and South African steel and stainless steel markets, South Africa’s major steel producers and events that have shaped these markets.
This Week's Magazine
South African construction company Group Five says work on the rehabilitation of the 800 km stretch of the Plumtree–Mutare highway, in Zimbabwe, should be completed by the end of this year. Giving evidence before the Parliamentary Porfolio Committee on Transport...
The Space Operations division of the South African National Space Agency (Sansa) revealed on July 17 that it had supported the successful launch of the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) satellite on July 2. The...
Phase 1A of Johannesburg’s Rea Vaya bus rapid transit (BRT) system should carry around 42 000 people a day, while it was been expected that Phase 1B, rolled out last year, would add another 60 000 daily passengers. However, the entire system is currently carrying...
A stormwater project in Bedforview, east of Johannesburg, has stalled for eight months after project managers in the Ekurhuleni municipality resigned and municipal managers were placed on special leave without designating replacements. Construction to reinforce the...
The design of the Beit Bridge border post is the biggest impediment to efficient freight movement between Zimbabwe and South Africa, says Cross-border Road Transport Agency CEO Sipho Khumalo. Beit Bridge is the busiest border post in Africa. A research study on the...