Vodacom is ready to invest in fibre-to-the-home if the right co-investment model existed, Group CEO of the network, Shameel Joosub, told attendees of a South African Communications Forum breakfast event in Sandton on Monday (15 October 2012).
Joosub said that to meet the South African government’s vision of providing broadband for all by 2020, industry players and government will need to partner.
Network operators are digging up the same roads over and over again, but only in the cities, Joosub said.
“What about the rest of the country?”
To deliver true broadband speeds it is important to build the backbone network, which means laying fibre, Joosub said.
He added that rolling out fibre to infrastructure such as cellular base stations all over the country will require industry and government to work together.
“We’re already in a situation where we’ve built 55% of our transmission network,” Joosub said.
Joosub went on to say that as part of the broadband strategy South Africa should set some ambitious goals for itself.
“If we say that there are 14 million households to cover, let’s cover – whatever the number is – 6 million with fibre-to-the-home and 8 million with LTE… Let’s get the right co-investment to be able to achieve that,” Joosub said.
Concurring with a suggestion made by the CEO of MTN SA, Karel Pienaar, Joosub who formerly headed up Vodafone Spain said that one of the lessons South Africa could learn from Spain is how universal service is handled.
Joosub explained that under-serviced areas are identified and the coverage of such an area is put out to tender.
Adding his voice to Pienaar’s, Joosub said that there are billions sitting in the universal service obligation fund waiting to be used for such a purpose.
“Help us to help you to deliver 2020,” Joosub said to the South African government.