Neotel is to invest R20-million in the South African leg of the new 15 000km Seacom cable set to connect South Africa to East African countries, Europe and later India and China as well.
The cable will be funded by private equity investors to the tune of $650-million.
“We are particularly excited that the South African investors in Seacom have a 50% stake, making this cable one of the country’s success story," says Ajay Pandey, MD of Neotel.
Neotel, which is majority owned by South Africans with 19% held by broad-based BEE investors, will invest the R20-million towards the cable landing station and all facilities within the South African territory.
In addition, Neotel will operate the facilities on an open access basis thus stimulating the country’s international bandwidth market.
"Neotel remains committed to a new era in the telecoms industry of South Africa where access to international bandwidth will not be as constrained,” says Pandey.
Seacom’s System has a design capacity of a 1,28Tbps, which is approximately 10-times of the current capacity of the SAT-3 cable.
The system is planned to be commissioned and ready for service during 2009.
According to Business Day, the $650-million in private equity investment is led by Venfin with a $75-million investment and 25% stake in the cable.
Shanduka is pumping in $37,5-million for a 12,5% stake and Convergence Partners get another 12,5% for $37,5-million.
Nedbank Capital and Investec are financing the project.