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Telkom on target to meet licence obligations
01 October 1999
Telkom South Africa, the incumbent, is trying to bring telecoms services to more of the population. This year alone, the telco will install over 600,000 lines. Telkom South Africa's CEO Sizwe Nxasana talks to Mark Holmes about the operator's plans to improve the levels of telecoms service in South Africa.
Telkom South Africa, South Africa's incumbent telco, operates
in a unique set of conditions. The legacy of apartheid means
that there is a big teledensity disparity between white
residential areas and more impoverished areas in the country.
In the white neighbourhoods, 97% of people have access to
telecoms services whereas in the under-serviced areas, that
figure is barely over 50%.
One of the main challenges for Telkom remains the installation
of new lines in under-serviced areas. The operator has been
given certain licence obligations by the government and plans
to have seven million lines operating by the year 2002. The
operator will lose its fixed-line monopoly in 2003. The
exclusivity period has enabled Telkom to embark on an expensive
modernization programme ahead of full-scale competition.
The company benefits from having SBC Communications and
Telekom Malaysia as strategic partners. The government sold a
30% stake in May 1997 to the two operators...
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