MTN South Africa has indicated that its national long-distance fibre-optic network, which is being built in conjunction with Neotel and Vodacom, is nearing completion. MyBroadband.co.za quotes chief technical officer Kanagaratnam Lambothara as saying: ‘Two major MTN nodes, [in] New Germany and Durban, [are] ready to go live on the MTN network. 50% of the fibre, and over 95% of the total route trenching, has been completed – certainly a key milestone in our network footprint which is designed and optimised to link major population centres and economic hubs, as well as interconnect with the international submarine cable landing sites. We are excited about the two major nodes that have gone live as they are designed to accommodate significant capacity, thus enabling MTN to cater for additional customers in the area, where incremental capacity can also be used to service corporate customers with dedicated hosted and converged solutions. The network is designed to connect directly with MTN’s international cable assets, thereby allowing for ‘Tier 1’ internet backbone access and high quality connectivity with other MTN operations across Africa and the Middle East’.
The project, which was first announced in January 2009, is arguably one of the largest operational collaborations witnessed to date in the South African telecoms industry, covering 5,000km and connecting major city centres across the country. Once complete, the new infrastructure will allow the trio to bypass state-run Telkom South Africa’s infrastructure, saving MTN as much as much as ZAR6.3 billion (USD770.5 million) over the course of ten years.