First phase of MTN optic fibre project nears completion

2nd July 2012 By: Natasha Odendaal - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

The first phase of a 5 000 km national long-distance fibre-optic network connecting major city centres across South Africa was nearing completion, telecommunications group MTN reported on Monday.

Over 90% of the total route trenching on the first route – between Germiston and Durban – and 50% of the fibre floating was complete, said chief technology officer Kanagaratnam Lambotharan.

Further, two major MTN nodes, namely New Germany and Durban, have gone live on the MTN network.

The project, in conjunction with Neotel and Vodacom, was designed and optimised to link major centres and economic hubs, as well as interconnect with international submarine cable landing sites.

“The network is designed to connect directly with MTN’s international cable assets, thereby allowing for Tier 1 Internet backbone access and high-quality connectivity with other MTN operations across Africa and the Middle East,” he said.

Lambotharan added that it would improve quality through network availability and resilience enhancement, while supporting service innovation through a robust infrastructure to support fixed mobile converged services and the growing need of bandwidth-intensive content.”

MTN aimed to connect the remaining nodes on the first route within the next few months.

“We look forward to the impact our newly live fibre-optic network will have on changing business needs and connectivity options, as we aim to assist in closing the current gap that exists regarding last-mile access,” said Lambotharan.