PCCW Global, the Hong Kong-headquartered international operating division of HKT, has signed a strategic collaboration agreement with Shanghai Zendai, an urban complex developer specializing in commercial real estate from mainland China, to provide technology and telecommunications services, skills and experience to assist in Zendai’s development of a smart city in Modderfontein, Johannesburg, South Africa.
The development at Modderfontein covers an area of approximately 1,600 hectares*. According to the current planning, the Modderfontein area will be built into a new city center in Johannesburg, including nine functional zones, namely the central business district, international conference and exhibition center, entertainment center, silver industry and retirement community, international residential community, comprehensive education district, sports center, trade and logistic park, and light industry park. The project will house around 30,000 families and create about 200,000 fixed jobs for the local community, which will help enhancing the social development and economic prosperity of South Africa.
PCCW Global, as the venture’s strategic technology partner, will provide Zendai with a wide range of services including systems development and solutions integration, application development and management, telecommunications and information technology services, cloud computing services and e-commerce solutions.
This is an exciting new development for PCCW Global in Africa, coming on the back of the acquisition of pan-African carrier Gateway Communications in late 2012, a link-up whichhas significantly strengthened PCCW Global’s position as the telecommunications and technology partner of choice for those seeking to do business in and between Asia and Africa.
Mike van den Bergh, PCCW Global’s Managing Director of HKT Global Development Services, said, “With this project, Zendai aims to build the biggest business hub in South Africa, and to be a part of that is an exciting prospect. Our experience in Hong Kong, which is a world leader in terms of broadband speeds to the home and IPTV penetration levels, means we have the proven technological know-how and we are ready to deploy our extensive portfolio of services and resources to make this venture a success.”
HKT’s FTTH (fiber-to-the-home) network covers about 79% of all Hong Kong households, meaning that FTTH services, supporting up to 1Gbps speed, can be provided to these households within four days of receiving an order. The Average Peak Connection Speed enjoyed by HKT FTTH customers exceeds 100Mbps**.
Du Wenhui, Shanghai Zendai’s Senior Vice President, said, “PCCW Global and HKT’s telecommunications expertise in Hong Kong is well known and the fact that they have a strong local presence in South Africa makes them the perfect fit for this project. We believe that the smart city to be built at Modderfontein Zendai will be on par with the most advanced and innovative developments in the world, and we are delighted that PCCW Global has partnered with us to share their expertise and to ensure that we install the right infrastructure and deploy the latest technologies in order to deliver this project as planned.”
The development is expected to become a hub for Chinese firms investing in sub-Saharan Africa, as well as for those seeking to do business with China, and for people working and interacting with such companies. Therefore, the deployment of leading ICT infrastructure and the delivery of innovative services will be paramount. PCCW Global will draw on its resources both in Hong Kong and around the world, as well as its staff, technology and facilities already on the ground in Johannesburg to offer Zendai everything required to create an environment in which businesses can succeed and an exceptional living experience can be delivered for residents of Modderfontein Zendai.