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Independent telecoms hub launches in South Africa

January 22, 2010 • Mobile and Telecoms, Top Stories

Thomas Makore, Spescom

Telecom liberalization in South Africa made possible the launch of NewTelco South Africa, a carrier-neutral co-location services provider, brought by Spescom in partnership with NewTelco GmbH.

The new company, set to launch its operation in the second quarter of 2010, offers an independent telecoms hub for local, regional and international carriers with a presence or looking to establish in South Africa. This means users will not be restricted by limited services that one carrier provides, being able to shop around among various carriers, due to the carrier-neutral co-location centre.

“More than 80% of the voice traffic generated on the African continent goes through South Africa. This new facility will offer local, regional and international carriers a fast, cost efficient, carrier grade, reliable point of presence (PoP) in South Africa to switch customer traffic seamlessly and inexpensively in the region and provide a transparent connection to international destinations”, said Thomas Makore of Spescom.

Makore explained that previously, carriers operating in South Africa were forced to make use of the services of the incumbent carrier, but now the awarding of ECNS licenses allows service providers to build their own network infrastructure and carry third parties’ traffic.

“Carrier neutral co-location essentially provides carriers with a telecoms hub or ‘market place’ where they interconnect with any other carrier who has a presence in that market place. Interconnections are unrestricted and incoming carriers are not compelled to make these interconnects via secondary, usually expensive, hubs as was previously the case”, he added.

NewTelco GmbH has already established five other neutral carrier co-location hubs in major world capitals, namely Frankfurt, London, New York, Vienna and Kiev.

Matthias Hartman of NewTelco GmbH commented that the South African hub will add competitiveness and give local and international carriers the flexibility to exploit the growing telecoms market, by providing reliable and high-quality services.

The partnership offers New Telco GmbH an opportunity to expand its offering to the African continent, while New Telco SA customers can leverage the interconnectivity that the German company has already established across the globe, with over 1000 carriers.

Makore said that NewTelco SA will not compete with existing network providers, but will offer complementary value added service, targeting regional and international carriers without their own infrastructure and providing them to interconnect with other carriers at a co-location facility that is neutral, without needing massive investments in infrastructure. The carriers can select their own long distance capacity, connectivity and negotiating price on traffic volumes.

“ We believe the time is ripe for the establishment of this service. South Africa’s delayed telecoms deregulation has put its telecoms market 10 to 15 years behind its European and US counterparts. New Telco SA’s services will undoubtedly assist to bridge that gap, driving down prices and increasing competitiveness within the region”, ended Hartmann.

Spescom is a South African JSE listed company operating in the ICT sector. Founded in 1977, Spescom focuses on integrated business communication solutions that leverage voice, video and data technologies to enhance the way businesses communicate with their customers.

The company operates through four divisions, Spescom DataFusion; Spescom DataVoice; Spescom Telecommunications and Spescom Media IT, which combine to deliver a range of voice application technologies, telecommunications and broadcast solutions.

Spescom has a staff complement of 258 with offices located in Johannesburg, Stellenbosch, Durban and London (UK).

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