PRASA to lease out fibre capacity to operators in South Africa

30 October 2013 | Kavit Majithia

The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) has said it is looking to lease out excess fibre-optic capacity on its 900km network.

PRASA claims to own a network featuring a combination of 24 and 48-core single-mode optic fibre, which runs along its rail lines with an aerial and underground redundancy route.

Its network operates primarily in the metropolitan areas of Gauteng, Western Cape and KwaZulu Natal provinces.

Optic fibre is seen as a more viable and economic option for infrastructure in Africa, in comparison to satellite connections or copper wire, which can be subject to theft.

Costs for internet providers to increase fibre roll-outs remains high however, and shared capacity such as that proposed by PRASA is likely to increase competition and force down pricing.

PRASA has invited expressions of interests from operators to establish whether demand would be served through its existing infrastructure, or whether the market requires additional capacity.