Tata-led South African telecom operator Neotel, has sealed a deal with the State Information Technology Agency (SITA) and the Western Cape provincial government to deliver broadband access to customers across the region for the next three years. This should be a beneficial venture for all involved parties, whether it’s in terms of profit or for the public good.
Tata may be partially leading Neotel for now, but the latter party will soon be taken over by Vodacom SA arm, in which Vodafone holds high stakes, owing to a ZAR 7 billion agreement which was made known in May 2014. According to the details of the pact, Vodacom will acquire 100% of Neotel in the near future.
Moving back to the broadband project which is the news of the moment, it has been promised that the deal will be enclosed within strict guidelines to deliver sites and service levels in a proper public-private spirited partnership, notes The Hindu.
Neotel has will even be working with the Department of Economic Development and Tourism to render free Wi-Fi hotspot services to local communities. It is expected to provide internet access to more than 2000 sites dotting South Africa.
These will include government buildings, healthcare institutes, schools and libraries amongst other sites. The network operator will also proffer EDGE voice, VPN and other communication services to blooming businesses in the province.
Also check out: Tata Communications’ latest Jamvee UC platform version unveiled
In order to serve its intended customers with broadband and voice services, Neotel will need to deploy reliable fiber optic infrastructure. The project is part of the Western Cape Provincial Government’s long term vision to have the public benefit from access to the internet.
Tata Communications does not own Neotel, but has the majority stake in the company. As we mentioned above, it will soon be relinquishing this power to Vodacom.