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|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 Business Process Outsourcing News
Jasco Enterprise has restructured its coastal offices into a single coastal division serving the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, the company announced on Tuesday. The newly consolidated division, led by executive head of coastal regions Karel Botha,...
Embattled telecommunications giant Telkom is eyeing significant procurement cost cuts as part of actions to return the group to sustainability. In the 2014 financial year, Telkom spent roughly R17-billion with suppliers, chief procurement officer Ian Russell said at...
A well-defined corporate culture, philosophy and principles, along with industry experts in all of its diverse industry channels, enable information technology (IT) services company EOH to achieve strong and sustained growth. EOH CEO Asher Bohbot notes that all its...
Updated 2 hours 3 minutes ago Despite various challenges related to the extraction of shale oil and gas, as countries grow accustomed to the idea, the use of shale as a form of energy will be more widely pursued, international oil and gas market analyst Michael Lynch said on Tuesday. Speaking at...
Updated 2 hours 6 minutes ago A consortium led by two Kenyan firms won a government tender to build a 1 000-MW, coal-fired power plant, company officials said on Tuesday, part of moves to satisfy rising demand for energy in East Africa's biggest economy. Kenya suffers from regular blackouts due...
Updated 2 hours 12 minutes ago The announcement of the successful bidder for the construction of Durban’s long-awaited passenger cruise terminal was imminent, Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) CEO Tau Morwe told delegates at the African Ports Evolution Conference in Durban on Tuesday. ...
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...
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
South African State-owned defence industrial group Denel has announced its fourth consecutive year of profits. The group's results for the financial year 2013/2014 were recently announced at its head office in Centurion, south of Pretoria. Revenues grew by 17%, net...
There is little opportunity for JSE-listed infrastructure company Group Five to grow shareholder value in the domestic market, says CEO Mike Upton. He says value can still be found in the private sector, in the renewable and industrial power sector, as well as in...
The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) has announced the event dates of the 2015 Johannesburg International Motor Show (JIMS). The event will take place from October 14 to October 25, 2015, at the Johannesburg Expo Centre, Nasrec.
UK engineering support services provider Babcock is set to deliver the largest order of global truck manufacturer DAF’s truck tractors in Southern Africa to bulk carrier road-based logistics company Ngululu Bulk Carriers (NBC), with 133 trucks to be delivered in...
Digital radio communications in the African local government space can open up the world, but have many challenges to overcome, notes integration and migration of legacy radio communications infrastructure with digital mobile radio company Emcom Wireless head of...