Plessey completes Northern Ring build for Broadband Infraco national network
TELECOMS| Feb. 7, 2013, 6:15 a.m.
Plessey, an African provider of telecommunications infrastructure solutions, has completed the building of installation sites for the “Northern Ring” of state-owned Broadband Infraco’s new national network.
Broadband Infraco was founded with the purpose of improving market efficiency in the long distance connectivity segment by increasing the availability of long distance network infrastructure and capacity, stimulating private sector development and innovation in telecommunications services and content offerings, and providing long distance national and international connectivity to previously underserviced areas.
Having inherited optical fibre infrastructure from Transnet and Eskom, Broadband Infraco’s existing network now comprises of some 12 125 kms of transmission routes. It uses the latest generation Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) equipment, providing 2.5 and 10 gigabit capacity connections along the majority of the fibre routes.
However, these routes did not include some 1, 036 kms of infrastructure needed to cover the outer reaches of Limpopo, Kwa-Zulu Natal, the Northern Cape, the Western Cape, and sites that would enable connectivity between South Africa and Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana, Swaziland, Lesotho, and Mozambique. Broadband Infraco’s current network building operations are therefore designed to fill these gaps and, more often than not, involve development of greenfield transmission sites.
Plessey client manager, public sector, Lawrence Rammupudu, says: “We’ve done this kind of work on budget and in record times all over Africa. Also, our financial strength and established network of black economic empowerment (BEE) and small to medium enterprise (SME) suppliers means we have no financial or operational barriers to overcome before we start a project.”
Broadband Infraco’s contract with Plessey included site surveys at both urban and rural locations along the critical and urgent Northern Ring (Limpopo, with connections to Zimbabwe), drawing up site specific designs and related health and safety plans, building access roads where necessary, installing security features at each site, laying concrete plinths to house technical equipment rooms, and installing ducts, manholes, and site finishes.
Plessey functioned as project manager, working closely with local vendors and suppliers to ensure that all the sites along the extended geographical area were tackled simultaneously, dramatically shortening the project time.
Even the fact that the project was undertaken during the summer rainy season across a range of different – and sometimes difficult - terrains did not impede overall execution. “This is what we do,” Rammupudu says. “We know how to keep projects moving ahead on multiple fronts. We don’t allow unavoidable delays in one area of a project to hold up the others.”
“We function as a turnkey provider to most of our customers and we have the specialist insight of a telecommunications infrastructure company,” Rammupudu says. “While this gave Broadband Infraco an advantage in terms of getting the Northern Ring up and running faster and more cost effectively than would otherwise be the case, it also made the Northern Ring an invaluable learning experience for the smaller enterprises that worked on it with us.
“And, from our point of view, this contract was another opportunity for us to accelerate Africa’s digital decade, not only because we installed much needed infrastructure that will keep access costs down but also because we helped to broaden South Africa’s skills base.”
MORE TELECOMS NEWS
Baudin leaves Orange BotswanaOrange Botswana CEO Phillippe Baudin has resigned from the company just one year into his three year contract. Read More
Econet steps up Ebola responseEconet Wireless has been working quietly behind the scenes with various government departments, including the Ministry of Health and Child Care, to prepare Zimbabwe for any possible outbreak of Ebola. Read More
Political uncertainty holds back North African telecomsSocial and political uncertainty is hampering investment in telecoms in North African countries such as Algeria, Libya and Egypt in spite of the evident opportunities, says Frost & Sullivan. Read More
AUC expands connectivity services with Emerging Markets CommunicationsEmerging Markets Communications (EMC) has announced that the African Union Commission (AUC) has expanded its connectivity services with the company in Africa and renewed its existing contract. Read More
Mixed growth in Kenyan telecomsThe latest industry data released by the Communications Authority of Kenya indicates growth in some areas and a decline in others. Read More
BlackBerry Passport unveiled in NigeriaBlackBerry Limited has launched the BlackBerry Passport, a new device built for productivity, in Nigeria. Read More
Etisalat’s subscriber figures top 20 millionEtisalat Nigeria has announced that its active subscribers figures have now reached 20 million, upp from 17 million in December last year. Read More
Over 2,000 entrepreneurs become Glo Xchange agentsNigerian carrier Globacom has signed up over 2,000 entrepreneurs as agents for its massive mobile money initiative. Read More
Econet: diversification pays offEconet Wireless Zimbabwe says its strategy to steer the business towards value added services is beginning to bear fruit, as its overlay services showed strong growth in the half year to August 2014. Read More
FEATURED STORYGrowing African focus on data security
Beachhead Solutions’ new SA and Mauritius country manager explains the challenges and solutions around securing customer data and compliance with new personal information legislation.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHAfrica lags on digital migration
Only three African countries have so far completed the digital migration process, and serious issues are hampering the migration in other nations.
COMPANY NEWSSchneider Electric off-grid, on-profit solutions to create social change in African rural communitie
Schneider Electric South Africa has set itself a target to create access to energy for 20,000 Africans by the end of this year.SAP accelerates shift to the Cloud with 41% revenue growth in third quarter
SAP has once again raised its revenue outlook, reporting broad market adoption of SAP HANA and its ‘Run Simple’ strategy validated.