Broadband Infraco finds its space in the market
The launch of Broadband Infraco as national, open access, wholesale service provider in the South African telecommunication space, represents a new era of exponential growth in the delivery of national and international broadband products and services for all licensed operators.
The state-owned enterprise has a mandate to improve market efficiency by increasing long distance broadband infrastructure and capacity, to stimulate private sector development, facilitate innovation in the delivery of ICT products and services and provide connectivity to previously underserviced areas.
The company recently hosted its commercial launch and is now open for business to all licensed telecoms operators and service providers, in South Africa.
It provides long distance connectivity to projects that are of national interest and in need of affordable, high capacity data services.
Broadband Infraco is a ‘carrier of carriers’ and sells high capacity, national and international long distance network services to other carriers including licensed fixed and mobile network operators, internet service providers, other value added network service providers such as including metro network operators, multinational operators and licensed operators in previously under-serviced areas.
Clients can utilise the products and services from Broadband Infraco to either expand the reach and capacities of their respective networks or in fact to resell this additional capacity to their own clients.
The services offered will open up some significant business perspectives for Broadband Infraco clients and service providers in the area of national, long-haul connectivity.
Potential benefits include improvement in their cost structures, on the back of the economies of scale Broadband Infraco achieves with its large volumes of long distance traffic, gravitating against their need to invest in their own long distance networks and opening the way for them to focus on their core business and infrastructure.
The addition of Broadband Infraco represents an opportunity for its clients to negotiate more cost effective services. In a nutshell, its offering represents the opportunity for its clients to deliver improved quality and more cost-effective services to the retail market. Some significant new business was concluded to mark the launch of the company.
MTN signed up for a 10 year, 10 gigabit per second connectivity service between Johannesburg and Mtunzini to move international traffic between one of the East Coast submarine cables and Gauteng and Broadband Infraco entered into partnership with Neotel to install a network with 10 gigabit per second capacity for the South African Large Telescope (SALT) and Square Kilometre Array (SKA) sites in the Northern Cape.
Broadband Infraco will be responsible for up to 95% of the project, in terms of technical skills and capacity. Negotiations are in progress with other key clients and announcements of more new business are expected soon.
Broadband Infraco has a sustainable model offering reliable, high-speed data transmission. It is underpinned by the introduction of the latest business and operating support systems and the integrity and capacity of its network have been enhanced by the installation of new generation 40 channel DWDM technology.
In addition to affordability andreliability, it offers ease of access to its clients at key points of presence in its network. The Broadband Infraconetwork contains some 12,125 kilometres of fibre optic cable and is fully operational between the major metropolitan centres.
It is being extended to smaller cities, towns and rural areas and the company has practically doubled the combined footprint and trebled the combined capacity of the assets that it acquired to start the business late in 2007.
This represents a growing regional platform that already delivers broadband products and services as far as South Africa’s borders, as well as other SADC states. The company’s high capacity services are available from 155 megabits per second to 10 gigabits per second.
Broadband Infraco will soon be coupled directly to the global network by way of the West African Cable System (WACS), an international marine cable network in which it is the anchor investor and that will come on stream in late 2011.
Chairman Andrew Mthembu points out that Broadband Infraco was born of the national need for affordable long distance broadband products and services and accelerated development of the required network capacity that was not being met, for specific projects and improvement of the national economy in the widest context.
Broadband Infraco has built a firm foundation grounded on good governance and compliance principles in line with global best practice standards. The current phase of diversification of its client base and the signing of new business augur well for the future.