Zambia hints at fifth telco operator

A fifth telco
for Zambia?

Enough room says
industry regulator.

Thursday, Feb 20th

Huawei gets go-ahead to upgrade Telkom's network

Telkom South Africa has given Chinese information and communications technology firm Huawei the go-ahead to deploy its next-generation ultra-broadband network access in the country.

The telecommunications company plans to use Huawei’s ‘SingleFAN solution’, which is said to have a downlink rate of up to 100 Mbits per user.

Huawei officials say the deployment of the countrywide network is to involve four million users in the country.

“We are very excited to be part of the largest fixed network modernisation project undertaken by Telkom,” said Peng Song, vice president of Huawei South Africa.

“The close cooperation between our two companies highlights Huawei’s continued leadership in the access network field, and helps promote the development of the information industry in South Africa,” he added.

Telkom plans to spend $1.5 billion over five years upgrading its broadband network.

But the fixed line operator’s planned upgrade experienced a hiccup in March this year when ZTE Mzansi - a joint venture between China’s ZTE Corp and local black-owned companies - took Telkom to court for choosing Huawei and Alcatel-Lucent Technologies to upgrade its network.

ZTE Mzansi said they had been disqualified unfairly in Telkom’s tender process.

But Telkom late last month won its case against ZTE Mzansi in the country’s Supreme Court of Appeal, opening the way for Huawei to help upgrade its network.

“We are pleased that we can now continue the implementation of our access network revamp,” said Bashier Sallie, managing director of wholesale and networks at Telkom, in a statement.

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