South African telco Telkom has announced that it is looking to restart talks with US-based AT&T about its long-mooted African partnership, which has so far brought very little new business to South Africa. In April 2009 Telkom signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with AT&T that would allow the US firm’s African clients to use Telkom’s internet network when expanding or conducting business on the continent. In time, Telkom’s network was due to be linked to AT&T’s global network, boosting its business prospects further. It is thought that progress has been stunted by issues related to pricing and after-sales support.
Acting CEO Jeffrey Hedberg told Reuters: ‘I am going to re-ignite discussions with AT&T. The partnership has not progressed to an extent we would like to date.’ Hedberg also confirmed that Telkom’s ZAR6 billion (USD800 million) plan to enter South Africa’s mobile phone market by the end of 2010 is still on course, adding: ‘We are working very hard and remain committed to launch our mobile before year-end’.