Feature Article

June 16, 2008

Neotel Looks to Telsima, WiMAX Opportunity in South Africa

South Africa’s first converged network operator today announced that it’s choosing a Sunnyvale, California-based company to deploy its WiMAX technology for the new system.
Neotel’s choosing Telsima Corporation’s regional partner, Tellumat, broadly expands Telsima’s presence in the fast-growing South African broadband wireless access market, company officials say.
According to Bojan Bostjancic, Telsima’s president, the deployment underscores the value of his company’s technologies and Tellumat’s network planning and integration support.
 “Neotel sees tremendous opportunity in expanding access to telecommunications services throughout South Africa and we are excited to participate in its efforts,” Bostjancic said.
Company officials say that WiMAX offers the South African market a “convenient” broadband solution to customers for whom wired solutions are not available or viable.
“WiMAX enables Neotel to provide telephony and Internet access to an underserved population, bridging the digital divide, without to the need to invest in an expensive and inflexible wired network for which the economic return is uncertain,” Neotel officials say.
South Africa is a nation in need of a network on which to build modern telecommunications, company officials say.
There, less than a quarter of households have access to basic fixed line telecommunications, and only a small fraction of those have broadband Internet access, they say.
“Neotel is conscious of the role its community service obligations and other corporate social investment initiatives can play in bridging this digital divide,” company officials say. “For the long-term success of South Africa Neotel actively supports the legal, social and moral imperatives of Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment. An integral part of the WiMAX project is to develop the local economy by engaging small, micro and medium-sized enterprises for the installation and maintenance of the network.”
The time to do that work is now, according to Telsima Chief Marketing Officer Wolfgang Mack.
He says that economic and regulatory conditions have changed enough in recent years making the African continent one of the most viable for converged telecommunications services over WiMAX networks.
“The economies of scale and performance enabled by WiMAX allow new services from established service providers and new entrants into the market to construct viable business cases for converged services to residential and business customers,” Mack said. “Telsima’s WiMAX solutions are achieving significant market traction and adding the Neotel deployment positions the Company well in the booming South African market.”
According to Angus Hay, Neotel’s chief technology officer, the company is on the verge of market expansion projects to deploy telephony and Internet services in South Africa.
“The Neotel WiMAX network enables us to offer these services quickly and economically to the market,” Hay said. “Telsima’s WiMAX solutions were chosen because their superior performance provides for a greater return on our network investment. Particularly, Telsima’s market-hardened WiMAX products and its comprehensive RF Planning, Network Management and Provisioning Systems allow for rapid deployment of a proven end-to-end system.”
Michael Dinan is a TMCNet Editor. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.
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