Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd (VSNL) will invest over US$230 million over three years in South Africa to develop and operate national long distance (NLD) and fixed wireless networks in the country.

The Tata group company expects its services, which would be operated through South Africa’s Second Network Operator (SNO), to go onstream by the first quarter of next year.

“The group will invest over US$230 million for South African operations, with the services expected to roll out from Johannesburg and later to other places of the country. The operations in the country would be rolled out through a special purpose vehicle (SPV), Strategic Equity Partner Company (SepCo),” sources close to the development said today.

The amount is an increase of US$30 million from the earlier proposed investment of US$200 million that was earmarked for Tata group’s telephony services in South Africa.

SepCo was rolled out by a consortium that owns SNO, with the Tata group holding an majority stake and South African companies including Eskom Enterprises, Transtel and Nexus Connexion being the other partners in it.

Tata South Africa Holdings SA, the investment arm of Tata group in South Africa, will spearhead the operations, while the foray will provide VSNL an access to country’s market that was dominated by a monopoly player, Telekom.

Business Standard India