Plessey to lay optical fibre enabling broadband access for SA towns
INDUSTRY| Sept. 17, 2012, 3:30 p.m.
Plessey, Africa’s leading provider of turnkey telecommunications infrastructure solutions, has been awarded a contract for equipping Emalahleni (formerly Witbank) and Middelburg with fibre optical infrastructure for broadband access by February 2013.
Emalahleni lies at the heart of South Africa’s ‘energy mecca’, being surrounded by most of the country’s coal deposits as well as most of South Africa’s coal-fired power stations. Middelburg hosts Africa’s only producer of stainless steel flat products. The two towns therefore constitute an important commercial centre for the country.
The fibre optic infrastructure project for the towns is part of a 3.5 bn national network that is being constructed over the next several years to provide broadband access to under-serviced areas and will involve laying some 121 kms of optical fibre in a ring around each town and in a link that connects them. The project will increase bandwidth for broadband users in the two towns and reduce Internet connectivity costs significantly.
“We always welcome being involved in projects that bring South African towns and cities into the digital age because we believe that increased broadband access is key to the rise of Africa,” says Plessey COO, Howard Earley. “Affordable communication capabilities have been shown to be directly linked to an increase in GDP and there is no doubt that local government service delivery improves with broadband access, as do health and education services.”
All Plessey projects are empowerment focused, using local sub-contractors wherever possible. Where the special skills and experience of Plessey sub-contractors are needed, local labourers work under Plessey staff.
The Emalahleni and Middelburg infrastructure project involves digging trenches and installing ducts through which the optical fibre will run and be maintained. The project is complicated by the number of roads that have to be crossed by the cable, with municipalities generally preferring to have Plessey drill under their roads rather than slit them. There are 83 drill sites for Emalahleni alone.
“In order to avoid cutting through electricity and water services that usually lie next to or under roads, and because of the range of terrains in which our equipment must operate, we use a variety of purpose-specific types of equipment, each moved on to site at pre-arranged deadlines and operated only by people with specialised experience in their use,” Earley says.
“Planning and controlling the logistics and timescales of a project like this can be extremely challenging. But we’ve done this work for more than fifty years, we have a dedicated logistics department, and we have relationships with sub-contractors that have been built up over many projects all over the continent.
“So, we’re expecting this project to be completed in six months, even with the mandatory festive season break.”
MORE INDUSTRY NEWS
NBC gears up for local elections with new equipment from JascoAs part of its mandate to ensure effective live coverage of Regional Councils and Local Authority Elections in Namibia, the country’s public broadcaster, the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC), recently upgraded legacy camera equipment through their longstanding partner - Jasco Broadcast Solutions. Read More
Terra launches Pulse to improve remittance reportingTerra, a mobile-first international payment network, incubated by Mahindra Comviva, has announced the launch of Terra Pulse to help financial authorities and regulators accurately measure mobile-powered international remittances. Read More
Nebula achieves Microsoft Gold Certified Partner status for high performance telecoms management soMicrosoft has renewed and extended the Gold Certified Partner status awarded to Nebula for the company’s next generation telecommunications management platform, OneView. Read More
Travelport launches state of the art customer Helpdesk in KenyaKenya’s travel and tourism industry receives a boost as travel technology leader launches new service at an official event welcomed by the County Executive for Finance, County Government of Nairobi and attended by the CEO and Vice Chair of the Kenya Association of Travel Agents. Read More
Take advantage of elearning to meet your BI skills development goalsIn partnership with elearningCurve, Master Data Management offers various technology independent courses to deliver critical missing BI and analytics skills. Read More
Phoenix Distribution wins Kaspersky East Africa distribution rightsPhoenix Distribution, Africa’s leading broad based distributor of software, has won the distribution rights to security giant Kaspersky Lab’s full range of security solutions in the East Africa region. Read More
Case study: How Google Cloud Platform powers Nomanini’s payments platformGoogle has commended South African-based enterprise payments platform provider, Nomanini, for its role in modernising informal markets using Google products. Read More
Eutelsat partners with Camusat to deliver turnkey solutions to mobile operatorsEutelsat Communications, one of the world's leading satellite operators, and Camusat, a market leader in implementing telecom infrastructures, have entered into a partnership agreement that will enhance turnkey connectivity solutions for mobile operators in Sub-Saharan Africa. Read More
World Panel inks deal with Vodacom for mobile electricity solutionWorld Panel Inc. has showcased its latest products at AfricaCom and announced a deal with Vodacom as a key retail partner to sell its new SunStream in select stores. Read More
AMOTEL appoints WTL as its first supplier for GSM and Data Networks in rural TanzaniaWorld Telecom Labs (WTL) today announced that it has been appointed by AMOTEL to bring voice and data to remote rural villages close to Lake Tanganyika in the Katavi Region. Read More
FEATURED STORYViber Spreads Good Vibes in Africa with the introduction of public chats
Viber, one of the leading messaging and calling apps with more than 664 million unique users worldwide, has opened its latest social channel ‘Public Chats’ to partners in Africa and the Middle East.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHPoised for greater heights – Roshi Motman, AfricaCom CEO of the Year Winner
Roshi Motman is not your average CEO. Since taking up the reins as the first female CEO of Tigo Ghana in 2014, she has led the Tigo brand through a remarkable transformation.
COMPANY NEWSArbor Networks maintains leadership in IHS Infonetics Report on DDoS prevention appliances
Arbor Networks was identified once again as the top supplier of DDoS mitigation appliances overall, as well as in the Carrier, Enterprise and Mobile market segments, according ...