Telecommunications group Telkom and cellphone operator MTN have concluded a national roaming agreement, the parties said in a joint statement on Wednesday.
The deal will enable Telkom’s mobile customers to roam on MTN’s network outside the large urban centres where Telkom has no infrastructure.
“I am delighted to make known the conclusion of a roaming agreement with MTN that will enhance Telkom’s ability to effectively compete in the mobile marketplace,” Telkom group CEO Reuben September said.
Telkom has placed orders to build 2 000 new base stations in selected high density areas over the next two years.
The national roaming agreement concluded with MTN will run for five years.
“The agreement paves the way for Telkom to launch its mobile service later this year by offering its customers seamless access to a stable MTN South Africa network with a substantial national footprint, whilst continuing to roll out its own mobile base stations,” said Pinky Moholi, managing director of the Telkom South Africa business unit.
In terms of the agreement, Telkom and its customers will have national access to MTN’s 2G and 3G network throughout South Africa.
Telkom said its capital programme for mobile-related investments over the next five years is expected to be about R6-billion.
“The conclusion of a roaming agreement with MTN South Africa enhances Telkom’s ability to offer Telkom customers extensive and national mobile coverage from day one of launch and accordingly, is key to the delivery of a successful mobile strategy,” Telkom said.
According to MTN, the agreement with Telkom demonstrates a continued commitment to provide connectivity for all South Africans.
“By joining forces, we are able to leverage our already significant investment in our network infrastructure,” Karel Pienaar, the managing director of MTN South Africa, said.
CEO of the MTN Group, Phuthuma Nhleko, said infrastructure sharing made absolute sense.
“It not only reduces duplication and infrastructure roll-out and maintenance costs, but also leads to effective utilisation of available network capacity,” he said. — Sapa