Octotel plans to expand its fibre network beyond Cape Town from 2020 onwards, MD Rob Gilmour told MyBroadband.
Gilmour stated that until now, Octotel has only focused on Cape Town for its network rollout.
“Octotel has spent the last four years growing its FTTH and FTTB fibre network to pass over 115,000 homes and businesses, and the time has come to start exploring opportunities outside of Cape Town,” said Gilmour.
The company will replicate its success in Cape Town in other parts of the country, he said.
When specifically asked about Gauteng, Gilmour said they are considering multiple options for the expansion.
“While Gauteng is an exciting prospect, we are not limiting our scope and are interested in other cities and towns that have been under-serviced and are crying out for quality fibre Internet.”
He emphasized that Octotel’s expansion will not affect its Cape Town network, and the company aims to continue growing at over 4,000 homes per month in the region.
In terms of expanding the Octotel network outside of Cape Town, Gilmour said that partnerships and acquisitions – where they can quickly scale – will be key.
“Ideally we are looking at acquisitions to get a foot in the door and then to bring our operating model and capital to grow the acquired network quickly.”
“While we are not discounting setting up offices and building from scratch in areas that can support this approach, working with teams that have proven small-scale success and lending our expertise and capital often makes more sense.”
Gilmour said that a lack of access to capital is a major growth inhibitor for smaller network operators, and Octotel can “bring rocket fuel to fund a more aggressive rollout”.
He added that the Octotel operating model is different to other operators in that “everything outside of civils activities, we do in-house”.
“This approach has built a deep internal knowledge base and skill set of all aspects of running a successful open-access fibre network that we are looking to deploy in new geographies.”