Neotel has dramatically expanded its network over the past year, increasing access to its services in the three main geographical areas. Its growth in the metros as well as the progress made on the National Long Distance network and its investment in international connectivity means that Neotel is well poised to enter 2010 on a great footing. This is the view of Angus Hay, Executive Head: Technology at Neotel.
“From an international connectivity perspective, Neotel as the innovative telecommunications challenger is the only operator with a stake in all the international cable systems that touch or will touch South Africa,” says Hay. Neotel recently landed SEACOM and owns the landing station for this cable at Mtunzini. It is also part of the EASSY consortium, WACS and has access to SAT3/SAFE. “Our involvement in all of these systems is unprecedented and it provides our customers with redundancy and access to increased bandwidth.”
The National Long Distance network project, a joint venture between Neotel, MTN and Vodacom, is progressing well. “The Durban route is about one third complete at this stage and we are ready to start the Cape Town route very soon,” says Hay. Around 200 kilometres of fibre has already been rolled out. “We have also proactively applied for all the environmental impact assessments for the Durban and Cape Town routes to ensure that these are approved timeously.”
“We have added roughly 1 000 (one thousand) kilometres of fibre in the three main metros where we operate namely Gauteng, Cape Town and Durban,” he says. This means that Neotel now has around 4 000 (four thousand) kilometres of fibre in the ground in these areas. “We have created more points of presence (PoPs) in these areas to serve our enterprise customers with high-end products that best meet their business requirement,” Hay adds. “In addition to that we have increased our point-to-point and point-to-multipoint microwave network dramatically, doubling the coverage area for this service.”
Neotel has also created significant WiMAX coverage and currently cover 20% of the area they plan to cover.
From a consumer product offering perspective, coverage has increased by 70%. “We have been aggressively investing in our network to ensure that we become more widely available to our customers,” says Hay. “This, coupled with the international bandwidth we have available and the innovative products we bring to the market is setting the scene for what will be a very good 2010 – for us and even more so for our customers,” he concludes.