Altech rolls out own network in South Africa


After a tough legal battle against former communications minister Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri to obtain an ECNS licence, Allied Technologies (Altech), through its subsidiary Altech Technology Concepts (ATC), has taken the first steps towards self-provisioning through its own network. ATC has officially deployed the Gauteng leg of its own first-tier network and plans to roll out in Cape Town and Durban within the next six months.

ATC CEO Wayne de Nobrega says the implementation of the new network began in September last year, on the back of Altech's plans to begin building its own infrastructure.

De Nobrega explains that ATC's acquisition of a significant amount of space in the new Teraco Data Centre, in Isando, Johannesburg, will form the core of its network. This will position the company as a complete communications service provider, offering services such as e-mail, backup, archiving, and converged data and voice solutions, he notes.

The company has also invested in equal capacity on two international cables – SAT-3 and Seacom – to provide a failover service on its network.

De Nobrega says ATC has negotiated multiple local and international peering agreements for both voice and data services. The network is designed to offer customers the choice of connecting to the ATC backbone through a variety of technologies, including wireless, fibre, diginet, ADSL and bonded ADSL, he comments.

De Noberga explains that ATC has not dug up the streets to lay cables required to offer all these technologies, but has rather partnered with whoever owns the infrastructure, close to a particular client, to manage the link through ATC's data centres.

Dubbed plumbing infrastructure, De Noberga believes this is what customers want in terms of redundancy and quality. ATC is focused on delivering a range of managed services and managed infrastructure solutions aimed at small to medium businesses and the consumer market.

He notes the consumer solutions are in the pipeline through Altech Autopage and should be available in the coming months.“There is a massive market of businesses that requires high-quality services, but is being sold low-quality solutions. We now have a network that can meet the demands of those customers,” De Nobrega concludes.