Telkom and WiFi services company Wireless G have launched a strategic partnership through which ‘wholesale’ wireless broadband access can be repackaged and retailed by other service providers.
"2005 will be the year WiFi goes from a novelty to a standard feature in SA," says Wireless G CEO Carel van der Merwe
The deal with Telkom aims to meet growing demand for wireless access throughout the country, with Wireless G operating as partner and wholesaler of WiFi services for Telkom T-Zones. It will offer a multi-channel platform for local and international retailers such as ISPs, telcos, broadband service providers and wireless operators to resell hotspot services to their end-users by integrating their (AAA) services and billing channels into an international centralised back office.
"This means that service providers will be able to offer the Telkom T-Zone and Wireless G Hotspot services to their customers and also bill them.
"The Telkom / Wireless G value chain is cost-effective due to Telkom providing the wide area network backhaul connectivity and Internet access for the hotspots; while Wireless G will interconnect networks, operators and service providers who will act as retailers of T-Zones, Wireless G hotspots and a large foorprint of international hotspots located on other continents. Wireless G will also integrate value-added services, provide billing and access control services," Van der Merwe says.
Wireless G will also provide the Wireless G hotspot platform technology at Telkom’s T-Zone hotspots in SA.
Van der Merwe says the Telkom and Wireless G partnership is currently contracting a wide range of prime venues for more T-Zone/Wireless G hotspots, with a view to creating seamless and transparent high-speed access in public locations.
"Just about any location in SA can become a Telkom T-Zone/Wireless G hotspot providing clients with seamless roaming and international integrated services," says Van der Merwe. "This means that airtime that has been purchased on any of the Wireless G or T-Zone hotspots will be activated on all hotspots."
South African hotspot locations will also become part of a global hotspot network, offering seamless inter-hotspot and global roaming.
Through the GBIA, the world’s largest aggregating network, these locations are in the process of being integrated to a single billing interface that is interconnected to all operators in the world to form the first global broadband mobile network.
The service will make it possible for users to keep existing sign-ons, e-mail addresses, identities, passwords and payment methods, regardless of whether they are accessing the Internet as a client of an ISP, a private corporate network, a telecommunications provider, a mobile operator or a cable operator.
Wireless G has contracted the largest network aggregators in the world, with more than 200 million accounts. This can also boost tourism services.
South Africans will also be able to roam on their local service provider account on more than 14 000 hotspots on other continents. These integrated networks offer an easy entry for organisations that are already providing wireless or internet services, such as mobile network operators and ISPs, and wish to extend their offering by providing access to a global footprint of a third of the world hotspots and hot zones to their end-users.