Octotel is one of South Africa’s largest fibre network operators and has built an impressive network in Cape Town and surrounding areas.
Speaking at the 2019 MyBroadband Fibre Conference, Octotel CEO Rob Gilmour said they started the operator in 2015 because they saw what Vumatel was doing in Gauteng and wanted to do the same in Cape Town.
“We saw Vumatel’s success in Gauteng and thought – let us do the same in our own backyard,” said Gilmour.
Over the next four years, Octotel aggressively grew its network and now passes over 110,000 homes in Cape Town with over 30,000 connected customers.
This is, however, only the start. Octotel is rapidly expanding its footprint and is currently passing an additional 4,000 homes and signing up 1,500 new customers each month.
The image below shows Octotel’s current network footprint, stretching from Gordons Bay to the West Coast.
“Everything that touches fibre we do ourselves”
Gilmour said one of the things which sets Octotel apart from its competitors is that it insources everything to do with its fibre network.
He explained that insourcing allows Octotel to build skills within the company and improve its operations all the time.
Through this strategy, Octotel has built a passionate workforce of 120 employees to manage its network and serve customers.
Apart from insourcing, Gilmour shared other important tips which contribute to the successful operation of a fibre network operator. These include:
- Build and scale quickly, especially in a specific region.
- Pick your civil partners well.
- Seek network congruence.
- Build good software and automate where you can.
The most important factor in this success, Gilmour said, is to have sufficient funding and ensure you do not run out of money.
Behind the scenes at Octotel
The images below give a behind-the-scenes look at Octotel’s fibre network.