SA'S IS ANNOUNCES PLANS TO EXPAND THROUGHOUT AFRICA
Speaking at a press briefing last week, Jacques Rautenbach, GM - Africa & Middle East Services, stated that IS will be taking its services to Nigeria, Ghana, Mauritius, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe. The expansion has already begun in Nigeria, and other countries like Zimbabwe, Botswana and Mauritius, are in the initial stages of this process.
Since dial-up connections pose problems, IS will be using terrestrial MPLS links in some countries, and satellite connectivity in others. IS has partnered with the likes of Transtel and Sentech to provide backhaul capacity across the continent, and into Europe.
By partnering with the above companies as well as Telkom and Intelsat, IS says that it will be able to purchase bandwidth wholesale, and then sell this to customers and partners in African countries. It has also extended its existing MPLS network, and will be using VSAT where MPLS is not feasible.
One of the main reasons for this expansion is to be able to extend its services to SA customers such as Shoprite, which are operating in the African region. However a project of this size requires a huge sum of money, and, according to Rautenbach, “R20m has been invested to date”. He also states that IS wants to provide Africa with the kind of Internet service provided in the UK and USA, and that this is a step closer to achieving that.