Investment opportunities for fellow Brics nations in infrastructure development and industrialisation in South Africa were valued at over R33-billion, or $3.5-billion, National Empowerment Fund (NEF) CEO Philisiwe Mthethwa told delegates on the opening day of the fifth yearly Brics Summit. Referring to the telecommunication sector, she said “the IDC had transactions under consideration worth $5.7-billion, which included FibreCo, a joint venture between Cell C, Convergence Partners and Dimension Data, and which was rolling out a long-haul open-access fibre-optic network”.
Convergence Partners’ Chairman, Andile Ngacba, was the keynote speaker at the inaugural FTTH Council Africa broadband conference held in Cape Town on 12 and 13 November 2012. Andile outlined the four key pillars to broadband growth viz; regulatory and policy issues; technology (especially photonics); new business models; and skills development.
Plessey, a subsidiary of Dimension Data, has been awarded a contract for equipping Emalahleni (formerly Witbank) and Middelburg with fibre optical infrastructure for broadband access by February 2013. The fibre optic infrastructure project for the towns is part of a R3,5-billion national network that is being constructed over the next several years to provide broadband access to under-serviced areas and will involve laying some 121km of optical fibre in a ring around each town and in a link that connects them.
SEACOM, a pan-African ICT enabler, plans to expand its European connectivity to Amsterdam and will be the latest partner to join the AMS-IX reselling program. Joining the program gives SEACOM the opportunity to make connectivity to the AMS-IX platform more easily available for African Internet companies. Peering and IP interconnection between African and European networks will be greatly enhanced moving forward.
FibreCo Telecommunications, a joint venture between Cell C, Convergence Partners and Internet Solutions, has passed the halfway mark of the first link of its R5-billion national fibre-optic broadband network. The company said that the construction of 600 km of the targeted 1 000 km stretch from Johannesburg, through Bloemfontein, to East London has been completed.
Broadband connectivity is becoming cheaper in many countries and it has also easier for many businesses and individuals to access the Internet. One of the biggest players in the Internet connectivity industry is Internet Solutions (IS). IT News Africa recently took advantage of the opportunity to sit down with Managing Director Saki Missaikos to find out about IS’ strategy going forward, his vision for the future and the company’s further expansion into Africa.
Seacom will look to the cloud to expand its local offering and help keep African content on the continent.
The shape of a “New Internet” is beginning to emerge in Africa, and Seacom’s recent statement that it is set to launch cloud computing services for the continent is pivotal to the movement.
Convergence Partners released its latest research report titled: “Let my people go (online)”. The report details the significant changes in the African broadband landscape and resultant boom brought about by large scale investment in infrastructure in particular wireless broadband infrastructure.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today announced an equity investment of $35 million in the Convergence Partners Communications Infrastructure Fund to support more rapid development of information and communications technologies across Africa. The fund is expected to play an important development role in Africa, where ICT infrastructure bottlenecks impede the growth of business and companies lack access to finance, especially risk capital and related expertise from investors that can help businesses succeed.
At a sod turning held today in Bloemfontein, FibreCo Telecommunications (FibreCo) broke-ground to start the construction phase of its much anticipated long-distance fibre optic network, which is set to revolutionise telecommunications in South Africa. The Company will invest up to R5 billion in infrastructure over the next five years, with a vision of ultimately building a network of over 12,000 km.
Construction has commenced on a 2,000 km link between Johannesburg and Cape Town, to be connected through Bloemfontein, East London and Port Elizabeth, and providing access to a wide range of rural and smaller urban areas along the route.