May 08, 2008
SA benchmarks telecoms costs against five other emerging economiesBack
Cape Town|Engineering|London|Africa|Cable|Projects|Public Enterprises|Africa|Australia|Brazil|Chile|India|Malaysia|South Africa|South Korea|United Kingdom|Services|Telecommunications Infrastructure|Telecoms Group|West Coast|Western Cape|Competition Commission|Independent Communications Authority Of South Africa|Alec Erwin|Infrastructure|Thabo Mbeki|Cable|West Coast|Broadband|Gigabit
© Reuse this A comparative study into the respective costs, availability, access and usage of telecommunications infrastructure and services between South Africa and five other emerging markets is under way and would be completed by June.
The countries selected for the benchmarking exercise included South Korea, Malaysia, India, Brazil and Chile, and the process to collate the data was "in motion", Public Enterprises Minister Alec Erwin said in a prepared statement.
The study came amidst rising anxiety about the cost of telecoms in South Africa, and against an aspiration by government to materially enlarge the size of the business-process-outsourcing sector.
Indeed, President Thabo Mbeki had raised the issue on several occasions and South Africa's competition authorities were also keen to probe allegations of excessive pricing by Telkom, which previously had a fixed-line monopoly. However, the telecoms group had mounted a court action challenging the Competition Commission's jurisdiction over the industry, given that it had its own economic regulator in the form of the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa.
Erwin also reiterated government's earlier commitment to the establishment of the African West Coast Cable (AWCC), which would involve the laying of a 3 840 Gigabit super cable from the Western Cape to the UK with capacity terminating in London.
"At a design length of 13 000 km, it will have branching units to at least ten countries along the West Coast of Africa. The cable will also support South Africa's science super-projects such as the Square Kilometre Array Telescope for which the country is currently competing against Australia," Erwin reported.
The Presidency had identified the AWCC initiative as a 'lead initiative' for the South African government, which was keen to deploy broadband capacity and create a sustainable competitive international bandwidth market in South Africa.
A State-owned enterprise, known as Broadband Infraco, had been created by to execute interventions that deliver affordable broadband and would take a 26% shareholding in the cable. A broad base of private sector participants, including incumbent communications operators, would own the remaining 74%.
A memorandum of understanding had been agreed with prospective private sector participants and Infraco would announce a selected supplier and enter formal contract negotiations shortly.
Engineering News Online had reported previously that the participants included Telkom, Neotel, Tenet, Tata Communications, Multichoice, Vox Telecom, Internet Solutions, Gateway Communications, Equator Telecom Nigeria, and British Telecom.
But Erwin stressed that government also remained committed to working with other governments on the continent and interested partners in the Africa-wide UHURUnet, which was a New Partnership for Africa's Development-led initiative.
Edited by: Mariaan Webb© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Telecoms News
Telecommunications group Telkom has permanently appointed Deon Fredericks CFO, with immediate effect. Fredericks, who is a chartered accountant, has held senior positions at Telkom since 1993 including the position of deputy CFO since 2011. He has also served as...
The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) is preparing to hold public hearings into the state of competition in the information and communication technology (ICT) sector from October 1 to 3. Icasa embarked on a multimonth high-level inquiry in...
Liquid Telecom, which is majority owned by Econet Wireless Global, plans to spend $200-million across the African countries where it operates over the next year to expand its network, a company executive said on Thursday. Liquid Telecom is constructing a fibre optic...
Updated 2 hours 45 minutes ago Despite apparent legitimate reasoning behind State-owned power utility Eskom’s electricity tariff increases, increased costs would undoubtedly hurt those in the lower portion of South Africa’s income distribution, consulting firm Frost & Sullivan Africa energy and...
Updated 2 hours 52 minutes ago The detailed feasibility study into a $4.5-billion, two-phase steel project planned for development by the Hebei Iron and Steel Group, of China, and South Africa’s Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) should be completed in the first quarter of 2015, IDC CEO...
Updated 2 hours 54 minutes ago Infrastructure development on the continent has gained momentum, with a special office to be set up soon, to champion this cause. Cabinet on Thursday announced that it has approved the establishment of the Project Management Office for the African Union Presidential...
Recent Research Reports
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
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.
This Week's Magazine
The board of UD Trucks Southern Africa (UDTSA) has announced the resignation of MD Jacques Carelse. Long-time UD employee, corporate planning and marketing GM, Rory Schulz, has been appointed as acting MD while the process started to appoint a new MD. The Japanese...
There is a need to start planning another pumped storage scheme in South Africa. Much work has already been done at a site in the Limpopo province and the project was very close to being put out to tender at one stage. In 2008/9 the National Energy Regulator of South...
The Coega Development Corporation (CDC) is preparing to leverage its strategic coastal position to develop the Eastern Cape economy through proposed aquaculture development zones (ADZs), with a proposed R2-billion project aiming to contribute $278-million to the...
Completion of the ongoing construction of the 102 km Zomba–Jali–Phalombe–Chitakale road, in southern Malawi, has been extended from June to December 15 because of persistent rains and difficulties in paying the contractor. The project is being undertaken by Kuwait's...
The Malawi government has awarded South African firm Fischer Consortium the contract to upgrade the Malawi Road Traffic Information System. The Directorate of Road Traffic and Safety Services at Malawi's Ministry of Transport and Public Works says Fischer...