19 April 2010
South African telecommunications operators Telkom and MTN have signed a national roaming agreement that will see Telkom entering the mobile voice and data market in the country.
“I am delighted to make known the conclusion of a roaming agreement with MTN that will enhance Telkom’s ability to effectively compete in the mobile marketplace,” Telkom CEO Reuben September said in a statement last week.
Since divesting from mobile operator Vodacom, Telkom has been clear about its strategic intent to compete in the mobile market by building its own network in key areas and through strategic partnerships in other areas.
Telkom said the roaming agreement with MTN was in keeping with changes in the telecommunications landscape, including the move towards infrastructure sharing between operators.
“I regard this agreement as a breakthrough indicator of Telkom’s ability to successfully implement its strategy,” said September.
Telkom South Africa MD Pinky Moholi said the agreement paved the way for Telkom to launch its mobile service later this year by offering its customers seamless access to a stable MTN SA network with a substantial national footprint, while continuing to roll out its own mobile base stations.
MTN South Africa MD Karel Pienaar said the agreement demonstrated the company’s commitment to provide connectivity for all South Africans, and that they were excited by the synergies and depth of penetration that could be unlocked through the combination of the two companies’ extensive reach.
“It not only reduces duplication and infrastructure roll-out and maintenance costs, but also leads to effective utilisation of available network capacity,” said MTN chief executive Phuthuma Nhleko.
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