Expert Member
Sep 5, 2007
Actually, that's exactly how I understand it. But I haven't seen any confirmation that towers would be subject to physical facilities leasing, as opposed to logical circuit leasing. I agree 100% forcing physical tower leasing is out of line. Telkom Mobile utilize MTN's infrastructure to provide their service, so it's clear they don't need further access. Any regulation around this would just be establishing a more economic price baseline. Anything driving down prices I'm 100% for, seeing the MNO's keep posting record profits every year. Hard for me to feel sorry for them.

If someone wants to get into the fixed-line business and provide data/voice on a Telkom circuit, they can't do it right now, like they could in the mobile world by knocking on MTN/CellC's door with a sack of gold, which is where this whole LLU thing is coming in - the fixed line environment needs to catch up to where the MNO's already are, and have been for some time.
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Paul Hjul

Honorary Master
Aug 31, 2006
no you've got it wrong - the physical tower is what is subject to facilities leasing:
see: http://www.info.gov.za/view/DownloadFileAction?id=123890
and the Act definitions:
includes but is not limited to any—
b)cable (including undersea and land-based fibre optic cables);
e)satellite transponder;
g)cable landing station;
h)international gateway;
i)earth station; and
j)radio apparatus or other thing,

which can be used for, or in connection with, electronic communications, including where applicable—
i)collocation space;
ii)monitoring equipment;
iii)space on or within poles, ducts, cable trays, manholes, hand holds and conduits; and
iv)associated support systems, sub-systems and services, ancillary to such electronic communications facilities or otherwise necessary for controlling connectivity of the various electronic communications facilities for proper functionality, control, integration and utilisation of such electronic communications facilities;
(before the term circuit gets you too exited look over the list as a group and the plain meaning is clearly intended the circuit does not include the termination equipment to render it a network and it is not a "logical circuit"

particularly when you look at the next definition:
‘‘electronic communications network’’

means any system of electronic communications facilities (excluding subscriber equipment), including without limitation—
a)satellite systems;
b)fixed systems (circuit- and packet-switched);
c)mobile systems;
d)fibre optic cables (undersea and land-based);
e)electricity cable systems (to the extent used for electronic communications services); and
f)other transmission systems, used for conveyance of electronic communications;

"logical circuits" are not under facilities leasing. A logical circuit represents a "network" (albeit one between two nodes) and involves network terminating equipment and there one is the essence of a network service over the facilities.

The whole point is that you cannot use Facilities Leasing to direct MNOs to make logical circuits of the "last mile" available for wholesale provisioning, what facilities leasing is damn good for is directing Telkom to make the last mile of copper open for access but the response from Telkom has to be to start pushing the MNOs to make towers available etc ...


Expert Member
Jun 27, 2005
there is a world of difference between leasing a facility such as a tower and wholesale access to the network - facilities leasing applies only in respect of facilities not forming a system / ECN.

The focus of the exercise needs to be exactly that principle you have spelt out, just not sure LLU is the right vehicle
Agreed, we don't need to over complicate this. In my mind, from a practical data perspective all that is required is; wholesale APN offerings at competitive pricing (such that access seekers can compete with the network's retail offerings).


Senior Member
Apr 17, 2009
Scenario: I'm a two-bit enterprise with my own licence. I'm willing to lay my own cable to a few lucrative areas within a suburb where Telkom has no fixed line presence (new development - getting in first). I want to connect my fixed line network to the nearest available network point, eg. MTN. How do I do it?

This doesn't seem like LLU. LLU would be MTN wanting access to your "Local Loop", the cables that you have. For LLU to work in this context, you'd have to have wholesale infrastructure and want to connect to MTN's last mile infrastructure.