How to improve broadband in South Africa

The 2014 MyBroadband Conference took place in Midrand on 30 September 2014, celebrating its tenth anniversary.

As part of the conference MyBroadband caught up with three former telecommunications executives who shaped the South African telecommunications and broadband industry – Lars Reichelt, Rudi Jansen, and Pieter Uys.

MyBroadband asked them what they think can be done to improve broadband and telecommunications in South Africa. Here is what they had to say.

How to get to broadband heaven: Pieter Uys

Vodacom CEO Pieter Uys
Pieter Uys

Former Vodacom CEO Pieter Uys said that for South Africa to “get to broadband heaven”, a few things have to happen.

Uys said that the government needs to start releasing spectrum to the industry, which will enable it to improve speeds, quality of service, and tariffs.

He said that fixed-line investments should be another focus area, with fibre-to-the-business and fibre-to-the-home taking centre stage.

“Hopefully we can all one day have 100GB of data at 100Mbps at R100 per month. Wouldn’t that be great,” said Uys.

Uncapped, unshaped broadband the way forward: Rudi Jansen

Rudi Jansen
Rudi Jansen

Former MWEB CEO Rudi Jansen said that to improve the broadband market in South Africa for the consumer, the best thing that can happen is to offer unshaped, uncapped Internet access.

Jansen said that fibre-to-the-home access would be the preferred way to deliver uncapped broadband to consumers.

Broadband for the masses: Lars Reichelt

Lars Reichelt
Lars Reichelt

Former Cell C CEO Lars Reichelt said that broadband for the masses is where it is at.

“The majority of people will access the Internet, and all the good things that come with it, via mobile,” said Reichelt.

“So whatever can be done to make it easier to provide better coverage, with more throughput, is a good thing,” he said.

He added that there are four things which he can suggest to improve access to mobile broadband:

  • Faster and more reliable processes to build sites
  • Faster and more reliable processes to string fibre to the mobile sites and around the country
  • Ease of sharing infrastructure from a regulatory perspective
  • Lowering tariffs and taxes on mobile devices

“The government and various departments must see mobile broadband as a huge stepping stone and an enabler to a modern South Africa,” said Reichelt.

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How to improve broadband in South Africa