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South Africa: MTN South Africa’s Fibre Network Reaches 18,000-Km During 2018

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During November 2018, MTN South Africa reported that its total inventory of long haul, metropolitan, and FTTH fibre optic networks had reached 18,000-km during 2018. This compared to a total fibre inventory of 11,351-km in 2015, with the operator then adding 1,469-km of long distance fibre during 2015 and a further 1,132-km of long distance fibre in the first six months of 2016 (see South Africa: MTN South Africa’s Total Fibre Inventory Reaches 11,351-Km, Q1 2015).

This total network of 18,000-km includes fibre that MTN co-owns or leases on the National Long Distance (NLD) network. NLD is a consortium consisting of MTN, Vodacom, Neotel (now Liquid Telecom) and South African National Road Agency Limited (SANRAL), that began the deployment of long haul fibre optic network during 2009. The NLD network now comprises of 15 routes which are operational, under construction or planned, totalling 9,922-km. Several of the NLD routes utilised by MTN are leased from other operators.

By November 2018, eight of these NLD routes totalling 4,745-km had been completed and were operational: NLD 1 from Johannesburg to Durban (697-km, completed between 2009 – 2012), NLD 2 from Johannesburg to Bloemfontein (725-km, completed between 2010 – 2013), NLD 3/ 4 from Bloemfontein to Cape Town (1,011-km, completed between 2010 – 2013), NLD 7 from Polokwane to Ladysmith (963-km, completed between 2016 – 2018), NLD 8 from Polokwane to Centurion (386-km, completed in 2015), and NLD 9/10 from Johannesburg to East London (963-km, completed in 2013).

In February 2016, MTN South Africa announced that it had purchased almost 400-km of fibre optic network from Liquid Telecom connecting Pretoria and Polokwane, with this route forming part of the National Long Distance fibre network (NLD 8, see also South Africa: MTN Acquires Pretoria To Pookwane Fibre Route From Liquid Telecom). During 2013, MTN South Africa became the first operator to activate capacity on Fibreco’s new 1,000-km route from Johannesburg to East London, comprising links NLD 9 from Johannesburg to Bloemfontein and NLD 10 from Bloemfontein to East London (see South Africa: FibreCo Announces Launch Of 2,000-Km Fibre Network Interconnecting Johannesburg, Bloemfontein, East London and Cape Town).

There is also a further 5,177-km of NLD network to be completed, including 2,651-km which is currently under construction and 2,526-km is planned. The 2,651-km of network under construction includes NLD 5/6 from Cape Town to Durban (1,767-km, commenced in 2018, due for completion in 2020), and NLD 13 from Centurion to Durban via Ermelo (884-km, commenced in 2018). The 2,526-km of network which is currently planned includes: NLD 11 from Bloemfontein to Ladysmith (555-km, planned for 2021), NLD 12 from Klerksdorp to Centurion (585-km, planned for 2020), NLD 14 from Cape Town to Kimberley (1,150-km, planned for 2019), and NLD 15 from Germiston to Ermelo (236-km, work in progress, planned for 2019).

Source: MTN South Africa

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© Hamilton Research Ltd 2019.

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