Carriers look at buying SA government’s Broadband Infraco
Vodacom and Dark Fibre Africa (DFA) are believed to be interested in bidding South Africa’s loss-making fibre company, Broadband Infraco.
The South African government is keen to privatise Broadband Infraco, which was set up in 2010 to build fibre networks in rural areas. Telkom, the 40% state-owned incumbent operator, has stopped talks about a takeover of the business, though earlier reports said a merger was “highly likely”.
DFA has confirmed to South Africa’s Business Day that it is “keen” to buy Broadband Infraco. Chief strategy officer Reshaad Sha told the newspaper: “DFA has been concentrating on building metro networks, but to have large-scale coverage, we will need to partner with a player that has national, long-distance coverage.”
In August, Vodacom spokesperson Byron Kennedy told South Africa’s News 24 that a sale of Broadband Infraco “would interest” the mobile operator, which is part-owned by the Vodafone group.
The South African government has not confirmed that it is selling all of Broadband Infraco or even a stake in the loss-making company.
DFA is also looking beyond South Africa’s borders for further fibre projects, Sha told Business Day.