Neotel consumer services by mid-year
South Africa’s second network operator Neotel says that it could be rolling out voice and data services by the middle of the year, following the allocation of the 800Mhz spectrum to Neotel by Icasa.
“In spite of the spectrum only being allocated to Neotel now, we have already made significant progress in our plans to introduce a variety of voice and data services, including high speed internet and true broadband access services for the consumer segments,” says Ajay Pandey, Neotel MD. “We are on track and ready to roll out initial services to consumers around the middle of 2007.”
This allocation follows a Gazette notice published on the 31st October 2006 where ICASA ruled that non-broadcasting companies can apply for spectrum in the 800 MHz band, and the subsequent application submitted to ICASA by Neotel in December 2006.
Access to this spectrum had been earmarked by Neotel as key to rolling out cost-effective voice and internet services for individual and SMME customers across South Africa.
“The allocation of this spectrum should also be seen in the context of ICASA’s drive to put South Africa on a path that will open up access to new, innovative and world-class technologies and the provision of services to low-income consumers for whom telecommunication has previously been unaffordable,” says Icasa’s chairperson, Paris Mashile.