R/€ = 13.14
R/$ = 12.05
Au 1200.03 $/oz
Pt 1139.50 $/oz
Sep 21, 2007
Cellular group may spend R1,3bn on 5 000-km optical-fibre networkBack
© 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 Telecoms News
The opportunity to manufacture set-top boxes (STBs) in South Africa would “transform” the country, paving the way for the creation of job opportunities and making labour markets more “innovative, inclusive and global”, the National Association of Electronic...
The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) on Friday published the findings of a discussion document on South Africa’s television and radio local content environment. Icasa last year requested industry input as it reviewed and revamped...
South Africa is progressing its ambitions of transitioning from analogue to digital radio broadcasting as two 12-month-long trials make headway in efforts to establish a starting base to keep radio relevant in a digital age. The trials evaluating the DRM and DAB+...
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2015: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2015 report provides an overview of the key developments in the global steel industry and particularly of South Africa’s steel sector over the past year, including details of production and consumption, as well as the country's primary carbon...
Projects in Progress 2015 - First Edition (PDF Report)
In fact, this edition of Creamer Media’s Projects in Progress 2015 supplement tracks developments taking place under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, which has had four bidding rounds. It appears to remain a shining light on the...
Electricity 2015: A review of South Africa's electricity sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Electricity 2015 report provides an overview of State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, as well as electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues.
Construction 2015: A review of South Africa’s construction sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2015 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; the key participants in the sector; local construction demand; geographic diversification;...
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
This Week's Magazine
Today’s organisations execute projects within increasingly complex environments – particularly in the engineering sector. The ability to successfully execute these projects is what drives the realisation of successful projects and, ultimately, the achievement of...
South Africa’s distribution grid is a twentieth-century relic, which must be changed to serve the country’s modern electricity needs, says South African National Energy Development Institute (Sanedi) Smart Grid Programme manager Dr Minnesh Bipath. “What we are...
There is a disparity in government funding provided to integrated transport networks – bus rapid transit (BRT) networks ¬¬– and that given to conventional bus services, says Putco executive director Thys Heyns. “We have neglected and strangled conventional bus...
The Johannesburg Social Housing Company (Joshco) is building 502 rental housing units, valued at R200-million, in Dobsonville, Soweto, which are scheduled for completion in June 2016.
Automotive component manufacturer and distributor Metair is centralising its research and development (R&D) work in Turkey, in an attempt to bolster the company’s ability to produce affordable start/stop batteries. The new R&D centre is part of an expansion plan in...