FibreCo appoints ZTE for SA fibre network

Summary: FibreCo Telecommunications (“FibreCo”) awards fibre network construction and supply of technology equipment contract to ZTE. Work on the initial leg is already underway, which is a 1,900 km link between Johannesburg and Cape Town via the Free State and Eastern Cape.

FibreCo Telecommunications (“FibreCo”), a joint venture between Cell C, Convergence Partners and Internet Solutions, today announced that they have awarded the contract to ZTE for the network construction and supply of technology equipment.

ZTE is China’s largest publicly listed global provider of telecommunications equipment and network solutions.

FibreCo’s objective is to facilitate affordable and reliable high-speed Internet access for South African citizens and businesses.

Through its investment in open-access fibre optic infrastructure it will transform the country’s communications landscape and accelerate our effective participation in the global information economy.

Increased broadband penetration has been shown worldwide to impact positively on economic growth and social upliftment. The initial phase of FibreCo’s development will result in the creation of 2,300 direct and indirect job opportunities.

FibreCo will also facilitate the training of at least 100 fibre optic technicians, to be certified under the internationally recognised Fibre Optic Association, who will be involved during construction and maintenance of the network in all provinces along its route.

Furthermore, FibreCo will make heavily subsidized fibre capacity available to academic and research institutions, enabling greater innovation in the use of information and technology.

FibreCo’s total investment will amount to R5 billion.

The Company envisages the development of a national network stretching over 12,000 km. Phase 1 involves linking up Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban as well as the East and West coast submarine cable landing stations.

Work on the initial leg of Phase 1 is already underway, which is a 1,900 km link between Johannesburg and Cape Town via the Free State and Eastern Cape valued at R1 billion.

Andile Ngcaba, Chairman of FibreCo, said: “This landmark investment will provide affordable, reliable and fast Internet access to ordinary South Africans.”

FibreCo has also signed capacity purchase agreements with its first 3 clients for the Johannesburg-Cape Town route, namely BT, Cell C and Internet Solutions, allowing them ownership of fibre infrastructure and the ability to build bespoke optical transmission networks.

Arif Hussain, CEO of FibreCo, commented: “We are delighted to welcome BT, a client with a truly global brand, to the FibreCo network alongside Cell C and Internet Solutions, who have been valued partners since inception.”

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FibreCo appoints ZTE for SA fibre network