Race continues to provide fibre access in South Africa

Two South African network operators have revealed plans to enhance the country’s backbone infrastructure and stimulate further competition among the country’s service providers.

Fibreco, a consortium made up of mobile network provider Cell C, ICT firm Internet Solutions and investment management company Convergence Partner, said it is developing a national open access fibre-optic broadband network, which will eventually cover a total distance of 12,000km.

Meanwhile Fiberco’s competitor, state-owned Broadband Infraco, said it will also be improving the nation’s internet access by selling capacity to licensed fixed and mobile network operators and internet service providers. The company has recently installed 11,000 km of fibre-optic cable connecting major South African cities and has also extended the connectivity of its network to bordering countries.

“From a network perspective, Broadband Infraco believes that suffi cient long-distance infrastructure has been deployed to ensure that long-distance capacity will no longer be a bottleneck for ICT development in South Africa,” said Thamie Mthembu, head of corporate liaison services at Broadband Infraco.

Both developments are part of a nationwide push to deliver direct fi bre access to the country’s base stations, to support the growth in data traffic on mobile networks in metropolitan areas. “South Africa now has six players all offering capacity on a national level,” said André Wills, managing director of Africa Analysis.