Telkom loses court fight to build cellphone tower

Jamie McKane

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Telkom loses court fight to build cellphone tower

Telkom has lost its latest fight against the City of Cape Town over the erection of cellphone masts in the city.

The Supreme Court of Appeal this week dismissed an appeal by Telkom against a previous judgement by the Western Cape High Court, in which the court stated that Telkom must follow Cape Town's by-laws when building cellphone towers.
 

hungrymamba

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Jip, municipalities ensnare ISPs with RED TAPE... And we wonder why we are so far behind the rest the world when it comes to connectivity...
 

Happy Days

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Unbelievable! Telkom really thinks that it can do whatever it wants and is accountable to no-one. That attitude comes through very clearly when dealing with its dwindling customers.
 

Happy Days

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Jip, municipalities ensnare ISPs with RED TAPE... And we wonder why we are so far behind with rest of the world when it comes to connectivity...
What red tape? Telkom wanted to erect a tower on residential land. Telkom then applied to have the land rezoned, but didn't provide enough information or pay the fee. Telkom started erecting a cellphone mast on the property before it was rezoned, however, and without getting the relevant building plan approvals or exemption. It also did not give notice to the city that it had started construction.

How is the municipality at fault here?
 

jdido87

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Jip, municipalities ensnare ISPs with RED TAPE... And we wonder why we are so far behind the rest the world when it comes to connectivity...
Go read the constitution and you will note that land use matters are a municipal competence.
 

elvis_presley

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Good stuff. My town is built around a nature reserve, and the residents are very against towers being built, so very few do - this has forced providers to share towers, which is how it should be. Silly that everybody has to build their own set of towers. They're an eyesore and a real waste because of duplication of infrastructure.
 

Gudnews

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Good stuff. My town is built around a nature reserve, and the residents are very against towers being built, so very few do - this has forced providers to share towers, which is how it should be. Silly that everybody has to build their own set of towers. They're an eyesore and a real waste because of duplication of infrastructure.
I guess the roaming agreements are the closest we're going to get to tower collaborations. I'd try to bring all the players together if I was say Vodacom to create a tower fund where everybody contributes to get access. I'd protect my advantages with non compete disclosures (if you want to build a tower where I already have one; due to the savings you getting from our collab deal , you're going to have to sign a roaming agreement instead.)
 

elvis_presley

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I guess the roaming agreements are the closest we're going to get to tower collaborations. I'd try to bring all the players together if I was say Vodacom to create a tower fund where everybody contributes to get access. I'd protect my advantages with non compete disclosures (if you want to build a tower where I already have one; due to the savings you getting from our collab deal , you're going to have to sign a roaming agreement instead.)
The operators are certainly able to share towers, but they have to be forced to do so. Hilariously, though, the tower nearest my house has 3 fiber links coming in to it - and for years, only Vodacom had fiber to it - MTN and Telkom ran off some kind of copper connection to it as backhaul.

At some level, these guys are all idiots, so protective over their little empires they waste billions to keep it that way (and then moan about spending it) - if MTN, CellC, Telkom and Vodacom all build a tower near each other, what is the point? None of them has gained any advantage over the scenario where they'd spent 1/4 to build a single shared tower.
 

Wasabee!

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Jip, municipalities ensnare ISPs with RED TAPE... And we wonder why we are so far behind the rest the world when it comes to connectivity...
Is it municipalities or ICASA that aren't releasing spectrum to operators...? Is it municipalities or ICASA that aren't pushing the DTT migration project...? Is it municipalities or ICASA that have the wonderful idea or WOAN...?
 

Gudnews

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The operators are certainly able to share towers, but they have to be forced to do so. Hilariously, though, the tower nearest my house has 3 fiber links coming in to it - and for years, only Vodacom had fiber to it - MTN and Telkom ran off some kind of copper connection to it as backhaul.

At some level, these guys are all idiots, so protective over their little empires they waste billions to keep it that way (and then moan about spending it) - if MTN, CellC, Telkom and Vodacom all build a tower near each other, what is the point? None of them has gained any advantage over the scenario where they'd spent 1/4 to build a single shared tower.
One of the good thing about the government woan proposal was the idea of avoiding duplication.

Vodacom/MTN as much as they complain about infrastructure expenditure know they still make plenty of dosh regardless but it's curious that they'd so no to more money. I guess network coverage is something they consider a key selling point and they look to do as much as they can to protect their advantage. Funny thing though is that they don't seem to know their market as many South Africans are self-defeatingly loyal to them, changing networks is just too much of a hassle to consider.

5G might see a mindset shift as I've been told the signal that is used for it not as robust as previous technology. More towers will be required.
 

Epistemic

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The operators are certainly able to share towers, but they have to be forced to do so.
They do not have to be "forced to do so". They actively want to do so since it improves their bottom line. Tower leases are needlessly complex though and towers also have optimal and suboptimal configurations. Guess who gets the optimal configuration points and access. Towers are also often expensive to maintain due to vandalism and theft.

Hilariously, though, the tower nearest my house has 3 fiber links coming in to it - and for years, only Vodacom had fiber to it - MTN and Telkom ran off some kind of copper connection to it as backhaul.
Makes sense if the tower/area was a lower priority i.e. was not congested or not servicing a significant number of customers for that ISP or was not suffering from service quality issues. Operators don't just upgrade for the sake of it.

At some level, these guys are all idiots, so protective over their little empires they waste billions to keep it that way (and then moan about spending it) - if MTN, CellC, Telkom and Vodacom all build a tower near each other, what is the point? None of them has gained any advantage over the scenario where they'd spent 1/4 to build a single shared tower.
Building a "shared tower"? They all build towers to share which is likely why telkom was in such a rush to build this one. They probably identified significant traffic uplift potential, both for themselves and their competitors, and wanted to erect it as soon as possible (in this case sooner than they were legally allowed to) so as to, not only improve coverage but also lease it to their competitors and thus achieve profitability as quickly as possible.
 

Geoff.D

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Does anyone know the locations of the 7 towers that caused the fracas in Cape Town? The news reports are very short on details.
 

krieg

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Does anyone know the locations of the 7 towers that caused the fracas in Cape Town? The news reports are very short on details.
Five in the Northern Suburbs. Two in Brackenfell, one each in Bellville, Durbanville and Welgelegen.
 

Geoff.D

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Thanks. Was looking for more info, as the locations in Brackenfell directly affects Telkom's ability to provide adequate coverage for the wireless copper replacement network, which impacts on my moms landline telephone which Telkom wants to discontinue. I have this sinking feeling one of those masts is providing coverage for the area.
 
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