With trade between South Africa and BRICS countries growing at a rapid pace, Neotel has made a significant investment in reducing network latency between the 5 emerging economic giants.
Network latency determines the amount of time it takes for a packet of data to get from one point to another.
According to Abid Qadiri, Chief Business Solutions Excellence, Business Solutions and Excellence at Neotel, the company’s network latency between South Africa and China, which is in the range of 220 milliseconds, is now the best in the market and has had a major effect on enhancing user experience and bolstering businesses. The company has also reduced latency to India, which has already been the best in the market.
The Industrial Development Corporation reported in August 2013 that trade between South Africa and BRICS countries has increased substantially since 2000, especially with China. South Africa exported R81bn in goods to China last year, while importing R120bn in return. Trade among South Africa, Russia and Brazil last year was about R25bn.
Qadiri says that telecommunications companies in South Africa have a major role to play in improving communications between South Africa and the rest of the BRICS countries to further support trade development.
He explains that lower latency connectivity can help businesses that rely on technology to be more competitive, while also assisting in significantly reducing costs and delays in the movement of data.
“Latency in communications affects businesses in many ways depending on their needs, which can vary from voice, messaging, fax, streaming video, online commerce and so forth. Improvements in latency allows applications to run better, faster and smoother than before.”
He says that Neotel is the only telecommunications company in South Africa that has capacity on all five undersea cables that provide for redundancy as well as for optimal routing to various parts of the globe. We always route traffic via the shortest path so that customers communicating with India can be able to run traffic over the South Far East (SAFE) cable directly into Mumbai. This reduces the distance that packets need to travel, which differs from many other ISPs in the South African market that route all traffic via Europe in order to communicate with the rest of the world. We understand the needs of our customers and are always looking at new options of improving their user experience.
Qadiri says that Neotel uses the global footprint through its parent company Tata Communications to continually invest and prioritise quicker access to BRICS countries. “This has given the company a competitive advantage. For example, we now get to India in fewer than 100 milliseconds, which is even faster than to the US.”
“There is certainly no doubt that improving latency and providing reliable communication routes between South Africa and BRICS countries can go a long way to bolster trade t and further driving economic growth,” he concludes.