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
Airtel deepens data market competition with new offersIn line with efforts to strengthen its relationship with customers, leading telecommunications service provider, Airtel Nigeria this week in its Lagos Banana Island Head Office, unveiled a new data campaign tagged “Join the Smartphone Network” which seeks to reward customers for their patronage, and also drive internet usage and penetration. Read More
TNM claims Macra milking phone operatorsGovernment and its agents are milking telecommunication operators through fees and levies, and one of the leading mobile telecoms operators TNM has come in the open to reveal that its cost of levies, fees and taxes was K15 billion for 2014. Read More
Mali’s 3rd mobile operator to start operations soonAlpha Telecom, the third mobile operator of Mali, is set to start operating in the near future to challenge leader Orange and SOTELMA in this West African nation. Read More
Phase3 Telecoms extends aerial cable to Republic of NigerSub-regional telecoms infrastructure company, Phase3 Telecoms said it has started the deployment of aerial fiber optic infrastructure from Kano in Nigeria to Gazaoua in Niger Republic. Read More
Predatory pricing in transmission cable market, others worry NCCNigeria’s telecoms regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is worried that in the transmission cable market, predatory pricing, denial of access to viable routes and discriminatory and arbitrary pricing is the order of the day. Read More
USF contributions surpass sh2.5bn targetContributions to the Universal Service Fund by Kenyan Operators have surpassed the targetted sh2.5 billion. Read More
MTN Ghana invests 460 Million Ghana Cedi into operationsMTN has told editors at an annual meeting in Accra that it is committing a total of GH.C 46O Million to improving its network this year. Read More
Airtel deepens competition with SmartConnectThe scramble for subscriber acquisition in the telecoms industry has taken a new turn as Airtel has unveiled a new marketing strategy to grow its subscriber numbers in a bid to unseat Globacom as second largest operator in the country. Read More
Togo government to regenerate Togo TelecomTogo's government has vowed to rebuild Togo Telecom with a regeneration package that includes a network upgrade, better customer service and high speed internet at affordable rates. Read More
Ghana ICH poses ‘telecoms monopoly risk’The Head of the Telecommunications, Media and Technology team at a private law firm Bentsi-Enchill, Letsa & Ankomah has questioned the National Communication Authority's decision to appoint a Ghanaian company to operate the national interconnect exchange and financial clearing house. Read More
FEATURED STORY2bn priced out of internet access
A new report from the Alliance for Affordable Internet shows that the price of broadband remains prohibitive for billions in developing and emerging countries, with women and rural dwellers hardest hit.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHVillagers get solar training at Barefoot College
The Botswana Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) has seconded seven semi-illiterate mostly Ngwatle villagers for a six month solar electrification training course at the famed Barefoot College in India.
COMPANY NEWSMTN Group Sustainability Report released
MTN Group’s efforts to advance social development in its markets through the integration of sustainable business practices into day-to-day activities, is yielding positive outcomes, the company’s Sustainability ...