How Neotel shook up the South African telecoms market

Neotel celebrated its 10-year anniversary in September, and the company highlighted several of its achievements over the last decade.

“The direction Neotel has taken over the past 10 years has been in direct response to the demands of our customers across multiple business and government sectors,” said Kennedy Memani, Director in Charge of Neotel.

“Our next-generation network coverage is both a source of pride and a crucial differentiator for our customers,” he said.

Neotel has invested over R7 billion in infrastructure, which includes a 30,000km national backbone fibre network which connects the top 40 cities and towns in South Africa.

Neotel also has over 10,000km of fibre in South Africa’s metros, with fibre on both sides of the road to increase reliability.

Neotel’s network in the country’s major cities directly connects over 5,000 businesses and passes close to another 100,000 addresses.

How Neotel changed the South African telecoms market

Speaking at the 2016 MyBroadband Conference, Neotel’s Angus Hay provided an overview of the highlights from the past 10 years.

Hay said Neotel has made a big difference in the South African telecommunications market, but not everyone is aware of what the company has achieved.

Neotel was involved in building a massive national network, which included investments in metropolitan fibre networks, wireless networks, and a new network in the Western Cape.


Neotel used innovation to change and disrupt the South African telecoms market, which includes many firsts in the country.

First Tier 1 Internet, First Metro Ethernet, First next-generation Voice, First open access submarine cable, First wireless home phone, and First usage-based WAN.


Neotel decided to fundamentally change the international connectivity market in South Africa by landing the SEACOM cable in SA, which resulted in a massive decline in the price of bandwidth.

Neotel is also involved in the EASSy and WACS cable systems.


Neotel connects to all the submarine cable landing stations, which offers it great redundancy.


Neotel has an excellent metro network, which it calls its “bulletproof network” because of its high availability and performance.


Neotel’s two tier 3 data centres in Midrand and Cape Town offer excellent security and high availability, and are some of the best-connected data centres in South Africa.


The company, in partnership with Tata Communications, brought the Internet to South Africa by creating two core Internet nodes in the country.

This provides Neotel’s clients with the lowest possible latency and no Internet downtime since it launched in 2006.


Neotel’s NeoOne convergence product provides a wide range of services over Ethernet and IP, and is the benchmark in fibre access in the local corporate market.


Neotel launched IP-based voice services from the start, and is now the biggest next-generation voice provider in the country – with 3 billion voice minutes per year.


Neotel was the first company to launch a fibre broadband product in the South African business market and remains the benchmark in the business market.


Now read: Neotel launches 200Mbps FTTB service

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How Neotel shook up the South African telecoms market