Telkom and AT&T have entered into an agreement exploring ways to provide global seamless communication and technology services to multinational customers, seeking to extend their operations in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Telkom CEO, Reuben September, and Ronald E. Spears, president and CEO of AT&T Business Solutions, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to seal the partnership.
The agreement calls for both companies to establish seamless connectivity between the Telkom and AT&T networks, so that companies in Sub-Saharan Africa can connect more effectively to other global markets.
The companies said the partnership would explore other potential opportunities in areas such as Telepresence, hosting and professional services and expand the existing global wholesale voice services relationship between Telkom Group and AT&T.
September welcomed the agreement, saying that it “further entrenches the solid progress we have made in executing our strategic imperatives”.
“This agreement will definitely contribute to our objective of expanding our leadership position beyond the borders of our country. The fact that AT&T has chosen to conclude this MOU with Telkom is further testimony of the Group’s network reach and capability. At the same time, the agreement will give impetus to Telkom’s determination to expand geographically and become a fully fledged Pan-African operator,” added September.
The agreement further reinforces other major deals which Telkom has secured on the strength of its network reach. These include a multi-million rand networking solution for Caltex, the South African subsidiary of Chevron, the contract signed with Absa in August 2008 and the partnership with FIFA for the provisioning of the backbone ICT infrastructure for the Confederations Cup and 2010 Soccer World Cup.
“This opportunity is a milestone for AT&T,” said Spears.
“By working with Telkom we will be able to extend AT&T’s world-class IP based services to Sub-Saharan Africa as well as strengthen our ability to serve the needs of customers in the key South African market. Advanced telecommunications networking is a powerful driver of economic growth, prosperity and stability, and an agreement will help progress the availability of and investment in telecommunications services in these countries. This deal provides AT&T with a significant opportunity to drive IP networking for MNCs to some of the most exciting, dynamic, but so far, under-served markets in the world.”
Telkom’s expansion into Sub-Saharan Africa was, until recently, restricted by the Vodacom shareholders’ agreement which has now been lifted by the sale of 15% of Telkom’s stake in Vodacom to the UK’s Vodafone Group and the unbundling of the remaining 35% to Telkom shareholders.
September added that Telkom is now free to compete and that the Group will, in co-operation with AT&T, also explore opportunities for collaboration in the area of mobile services in Nigeria and other Sub-Saharan African countries.altex