Following the sale of Telkom South Africa’s stake in Vodacom, the mobile operator has said it is now able to join MTN and Neotel in building a national long-distance fibre-optic network. CommsUpdate first reported the ZAR2 billion (USD197 million) 5,000km national fibre-optic cable project involving Neotel and rival mobile firm MTN in mid-January. The network will connect the major centres across South Africa. The first phase will connect Johannesburg and Durban, while onward connectivity to Mtunzini will allow for interconnection with the submarine cables EASSy and SEACOM. This first section is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of this year.