FibreCo selects ZTE for national optical backbone network

30 September 2011 | Kavit Majithia


South African operator FibreCo has signed a deal with ZTE, for the Chinese technology solutions and equipment provider to build a national optical backbone network in South Africa.

ZTE is expected to solely construct phase one of the project, which includes the build out of 1900km of fibre. The partnership is part of Fiberco’s wider commitment to three other South African companies to upgrade optical networks across the region and build a national open-access network to make affordable optical networks available to businesses, R&D centres and academic institutions.

"This landmark investment will provide affordable, reliable and fast internet access to ordinary South Africans,” said Andile Ngcaba, president at FibreCo.

As part of the agreement, ZTE will deploy WDM devices across the region, and provide a 10Gbps and 40Gbps transmission technology that is upgradeable to 100Gbps in the future. The vendor will provide additional network management solutions and attempt to increase FibreCo’s reliability and flexibility within its network.

"ZTE is committed to supplying effective solutions for its customers,” added Chen Jie, SVP at ZTE. “We are proud to assist with improving telecommunications for South Africans.”

Research analyst firm Ovum ranks ZTE third in the optical network market, with Q2 2011 revenues increasing by 45% from 2010. The global optical network market also grew by 17% in the same time period, and is now worth over $4.1 billion, according to Ovum.