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
MainOne’s Data Center attains West Africa’s 1st SAP HANA® CertificationMainOne, the premier connectivity and data center Solutions Company, today announced that its Data Center subsidiary, MDXi is now an SAP-certified provider of Infrastructure Services for SAP® solutions. Read More
Riverbed Announces Definitive Agreement to Acquire AternityAcquisition expands Riverbed’s SteelCentral offerings, providing the industry’s best and most comprehensive end-to-end visibility solution in the market – spanning network, application and end user experience management. Read More
Gilat Telecom Uganda provides internet services for 60 business customersGilat Satcom has established an ISP in Uganda which is already providing fast, reliable and highly secure broadband services to more than 60 business clients, mainly around Kampala and Entebbe. Read More
New solution to beat identity theftIdeco is launching its new all-in-one mobile biometrics unit in South Africa. The Biometric Identity Management System (BIMS) enables biometric identification across a range of modalities, from fingerprint through to iris scanning. Read More
Cellphones to improve healthcare access and quality in AfricaMaking use of VMware technologies, Medic Mobile has developed a software kit to be used in almost any kind of environment, support any language, and work with or without Internet connectivity, locally or in the cloud Read More
Safaricom uses Nokia CEM on DemandSafaricom, the largest integrated telecommunication service provider in East Africa, is improving services for more than 25 million subscribers in Kenya, thanks to Nokia's Customer Experience Management on Demand. Read More
Standard Bank digital innovation delivers single biometric and cross border banking accessibilityAfrica’s largest bank by assets, Standard Bank, has seen its mobile traffic growing 100% a year as customers embrace more convenient and efficient solutions for their banking needs. Read More
Telco Systems Rolls Out New 10GE High Capacity Carrier Ethernet Network for KENET in KenyaTelco Systems, the leading provider of innovative CE 2.0, MPLS, IP and SDN & NFV solutions, has announced that the company has successfully deployed a new 10GE high capacity carrier Ethernet network for the Kenya Education Network (KENET) in Kenya. Read More
GeoPoll, Kantar Media, Cuende announce first Pan-African Out of Home measurement productGlobal leaders in audience research use satellite imagery and mobile survey data to measure OOH reach in Africa. Read More
BICS blocks over 10m fraudulent call attempts with FraudGuard in 2016BICS, a global wholesale carrier for voice, mobile data and capacity services says its crowdsourcing fraud prevention platform, FraudGuard, detected and blocked more than 10 million fraudulent call attempts on its customers’ networks during the first quarter of 2016. Read More
FEATURED STORYFinancial services sees AI as both opportunity and threat
Banking is already a key area where technology is having an impact throughout Africa, and a new survey assesses the impact artificial intelligence will have on this sector.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHAccess and Use of ICT stats released
Statistics Botswana has released the first results of the 2014 Information and Communication Technology Household Survey.
COMPANY NEWSTigo explores options to give customers a greater choice for 4G services in Ghana
Following her recent visit to Ghana, Cynthia Gordon, the CEO of Millicom Africa, has emphasized the remarkable growth opportunities in data and Tigo’s commitment to giving customers ...