R/€ = 14.49
R/$ = 10.50
Au 1294.90 $/oz
Pt 1407.50 $/oz
Sep 21, 2007
Cellular group may spend R1,3bn on 5 000-km optical-fibre networkBack
JSE|MTN|Rosebank|SABMiller|Vodacom|Africa|South Africa|Backbone Network|Cellular Operator|Fixed-line Network|Mobile Operator|Optical-fibre Network|Tim Lowry|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
Other News This Week News
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2014: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2014 report provides an overview of 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 steel and stainless...
Projects in Progress 2014 - First Edition (PDF Report)
This publication contains insight into progress at the delayed Medupi and Kusile coal-fired projects, in Mpumalanga and Limpopo respectively, as well as at the Ingula pumped-storage scheme, which is under construction on the border between the Free State and...
Automotive 2014: A review of South Africa's automotive sector (PDF Report)
The report provides insight into the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local construction demand, geographic diversification, competition within the sector, corporate activity, skills, safety, environmental considerations and the challenges...
Construction 2014: A review of South Africa's construction sector (PDF Report)
Construction data released during 2013 hints at a halt to the decline in the industry during the last few years, with some commentators averring that the industry could be poised for recovery. However, others have urged caution, noting that the prospects for a...
Electricity 2014: A Review of South Africa's Electricity Sector (PDF Report)
This report provides an overview of the state of electricity generation and transmission in South Africa and examines electricity planning, investment in generation capacity, electricity tariffs, the role of independent power producers and demand-focused initiatives,...
Defence 2013: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2013 Defence Report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key players in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the defence sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial...
This Week's Magazine
The Electronic Systems Laboratory (ESL) of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Stellenbosch University is strongly reaffirming its position as one of South Africa’s leading centres for satellite technology and expertise. It is currently...
The world’s lowest-cost diesel-electric locomotive is not made in China, but in Pretoria, at RRL Grindrod Locomotives’ newly upgraded 30 000 m2 plant. The company’s locomotive pricing is “more competitive than any other original-equipment manufacturer (OEM)...
The South African Defence Review 2012, released to the public at the end of last month (despite the year given in its title) recommends the creation of the post of Chief Defence Scientist. This official would be responsible for the management of defence technology...
AltX-listed engineering technology company Ansys has been awarded an R188-million contract by Transnet to supply integrated dashboard display systems to the freight rail utility’s locomotives. Black-owned and controlled Ansys developed the bespoke integrated system...
South Africa’s sole nuclear power station Koeberg, which is located in the Western Cape, breached a major operations milestone on April 4, which marked the thirtieth anniversary of Unit 1 having been connected to the grid. Eskom, which operates the two-unit plant,...