Plessey to lay optical fibre enabling broadband access for SA towns
INDUSTRYBy BiztechAfrica - 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
CA Technologies launches industry's first management cloud for mobilityCA Southern Africa has revealed that CA Technologies has launched the industry’s first, comprehensive Management Cloud for Mobility. Read More
Samsung expands wearable line with Samsung Gear FitThe Samsung Gear Fit, the industry’s first curved Super AMOLED wearable device has been unveiled in Ghana by at the official media launch of the Samsung Galaxy S5. Read More
Azanuru launches new cloud solutionsAzanuru has launched two new cloud solutions aimed at expanding the cloud options for businesses in Kenya. Read More
Nomanini expands Southern African operationsNomanini has announced the expansion of its Southern African operations after securing a partnership with a distributor of mobile prepaid in Mozambique. Read More
Vodafone Egypt selects OpenCloudOpenCloud has announced that it has been chosen by Vodafone Egypt to provide its Rhino service-layer to enable delivery of new services. Read More
SAP offers new, free online classesSAP offers new, free online classes on SAP® Business Suite powered by SAP HANA® Read More
Axis upgrades top-of-the-line pan/tilt/zoom AXIS Q60 seriesAxis Communications has upgraded its entire top-of-the-line AXIS Q60 PTZ Dome Network Camera Series for improved image quality, light sensitivity and enhanced capacity for intelligent video. Read More
ARM, NetClean fight child exploitationARM, the distributor of NetClean for Sub-Saharan Africa, has partnered with NetClean to combat online child exploitation. Read More
Relive the Moment with Samsung Galaxy S5Samsung's Galaxy S5 enables the user to seize every moment with extreme clarity and to relive in full detail. Read More
New partnership to connect the world through photographySamsung Electronics Co., Ltd. and the global digital media company Getty Images, have announced a new partnership to help people across the globe share their stories through the unique power of photography. Read More
FEATURED STORYKenyan bloggers get their act together
Bloggers seem to be gaining a formidable position in Kenya’s online media fraternity, reports Semaj Itosno.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHE-waste threatens Ghana’s beaches
Many beaches in Ghana, already stressed by pollution and poor maintenance, are now facing a new threat: e-waste.
COMPANY NEWSFurther African expansion for Phoenix
Phoenix Distribution, a leading broad-based distributor on the African continent, has expanded its office in Nairobi, Kenya, in a move to better serve its partners in East ...