Cheaper, faster broadband plan for SA: Alan Knott-Craig

Cell C CEO Alan Knott-Craig said that the road to more affordable and faster broadband services is simple, but needs urgent attention

By - April 4, 2013
Cell C Alan Knott Craig Senior

A single broadband network with pooled resources – including spectrum and finances – is the best way to achieve faster and more affordable Internet access in South Africa. This is according to Cell C CEO Alan Knott-Craig.

Knott-Craig told MyBroadband that it is very important that government gets their broadband policy right, adding that this policy should focus on a national broadband network.

This network should be built by a multi-shareholder consortium with the financial muscle and know-how to construct and operate a data network.

He explained that a single national broadband network can be built more affordably, and bring more competition to the market through a well regulated wholesale model.

The lower input costs and increased competition will ensure that consumers will get the best service levels at the lowest possible price, said Knott-Craig.

The Cell C CEO made it clear that government should not try to do this themselves as it will mean higher building costs, more inefficiencies and poor services to consumers.

Get ready for LTE Advanced (4G)

Knott-Craig said that South Africa needs to get ready to take advantage of LTE Advanced (4G) when the technology becomes commercially available.

“2G and 3G technologies are the oxwagens of today,” said Knott-Craig. “4G is where our focus should be.”

He said that lower frequency spectrum – typically in the 800MHz band – is needed to ensure better indoor penetration and better coverage in rural areas.

According to Knott-Craig the government’s choice is easy: If they want affordable high speed Internet access for its citizens, make sure South Africa gets a single wholesale broadband network with pooled resources. Anything else will simply continue the status quo.

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