Telkom rolls out its own 3G network

3 October 2008

South African state telecoms company Telkom is deploying its own third generation (3G) wireless network across the country, taking the fixed-line operator closer towards providing its customers with fully converged information communication technology solutions.

Telkom said in a statement this week that fixed voice and fixed-mobile data services would be launched during October, with nomadic voice services becoming available later in the year.

The company announced in March this year that it would look to expand into the fixed-mobile space as a means of maintaining its market share and growing revenues.

Speaking at the time, Telkom CEO Reuben September said that the company’s revenues were under “significant pressure” from declining voice services, due to competition, and further affected by copper cable theft.

“Three years ago, we announced we are investing in next generation network-based technologies to provide new generation customer services and products,” he said. “It isn’t about a single network but using various technologies, such as wideband code division multiple access (W-CDMA), to provide customer-focused services.”

3G mobile technology

W-CDMA is a third generation (3G) mobile technology that offers services like high-speed Internet access, video and high quality voice transmission. Telkom will initially focus on providing fixed voice and fixed-mobile data and, in the near future, nomadic voice services, offering its customers choice at a highly competitive cost.

Through the use of third generation technologies, Telkom is able to ensure sustained service without relying on copper cables, enabling the company to operate in areas where cables are repeatedly stolen or where the company lacks fixed-line infrastructure.

Telkom has appointed Chinese telecom equipment manufacturer Huawei as a technology partner to deploy its fixed-wireless and mobile data network on a turnkey basis. According to the company, Huawei has a proven track record in the speedy deployment of infrastructure in both emerging and developed markets at a highly competitive cost.

“The products and services that are lined up to be launched on this technology will certainly give our customers a lasting positive experience,” said Telkom chief operations officer Motlatsi Nzeku. “This innovative 3G network supports services such as high-speed Internet access, video and high-quality voice transmission.”

“We will initially focus on providing fixed voice and fixed-mobile data services and within weeks, we also plan to roll-out nomadic voice services.”

SAinfo reporter

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