South Africa round-up: Vodacom in fibre deal with Baywest City development; Orange to launch free Wi-Fi; Telkom to offer 100Mbps FTTH from 1 December

21 Nov 2014

Vodacom South Africa has secured a contract to deploy the entire fibre-optic backbone of the Baywest City development in Port Elizabeth, BusinessTech reports. The ZAR1.7 billion (USD155 million) development , which comprises a mall and light industrial sector, as well as 7,000 residential units with a private school and medical centre, in a model similar to Cape Town’s Century City, is scheduled to open in April 2015. ‘Baywest is the first large-scale green-field development in the country to incorporate a wholly functional fibre-optic backbone from inception,’ Baywest MD Gavin Blows said.

Meanwhile, Orange Horizons is planning the imminent launch of a free Wi-Fi service in Cape Town’s Khayelitsha and Mitchell’s Plain, according to BusinessTech. Sebastien Crozier, the CEO of the French telco’s international development unit, said that the project will be rolled out in two phases. Crozier commented: ‘The first phase of the project will offer free Wi-Fi to anyone making use of a Wi-Fi enabled device. Users will get a free bundle per day to use as they please … In the second phase of the project we will offer some [paid-for] offers along with free Wi-Fi. This project is a major step in introducing Orange as an internet service provider (ISP) in South Africa, and will be key in finalising the offers that will be launched nationwide in the months to come.’

Finally, Telkom South Africa is planning to launch its wholesale open-access fibre broadband product on 1 December 2014. The company disclosed that it will have a fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) presence in 23 suburbs in Gauteng, the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) by that date. Previously, Telkom said that there were a total of 26 suburbs across the country where it would be offering residential fibre services, although it subsequently scrapped its plans to press ahead with FTTH rollouts in Parkview and Parkhurst, after the two suburbs awarded fibre-optic deployment contracts to Dark Fibre Africa (Parkview) and Vumatel (Parkhurst).