Vodacom seals R1bn fibre deal with Prasa

By:
James Pearce
Published on:

£57 million agreement will see operator lease Prasa's 900km dark fibre network

Vodacom has won a 15 year fibre deal worth R1 billion (£57 million) with the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa).

The deal, signed with Prasa subsidiary Intersite Asset Investments, is made up of two parts, according to Vodacom. 

The first will see Prasa leveraging Vodacom Business’s enterprise channel capability, including multiprotocol label switching (MPLS), virtual private network connectivity, unified communications and collaborations and metro Ethernet fibre access.

The second part of the deal will see Vodacom lease Prasa’s dark fibre network for the duration of the contract, making these assets commercially available to government and enterprises, including rival carriers and mobile operators through its wholesale division. Prasa has more than 900km of fibre along its railway lines and stations.

“The agreement forms part of Prasa’s telecoms assets commercialisation process, which began in 2013, and is designed to support its goal to provide quality passenger rail services to commuters,” Vodacom said in a statement.

“In the past, State enterprises, including municipalities, invested in optic fibre infrastructure to meet their own consumption needs. To maximise return on investment on these assets, State-owned entities must find strategic partners with technical expertise and market reach, which is what Prasa has achieved through its partnership with Vodacom.”

The agreement will also allow Prasa to generate revenue through its fibre assets and on-sell Vodacom’s enterprise products to the wider market in South Africa through subsidiary Intersite.

The announcement comes in the same week that Vodacom revealed plans to step-up its fibre-to-the-home deployment in the country after signing a number of lease agreements with wholesale providers.

Providers named included Century City Connect, Dark Fibre Africa, Fibrehoods, Openserve and Vumatel, according to reports.