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Bytes to deploy City of Cape Town WiFi

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Alcatel-Lucent, in partnership with Bytes Systems Integration, is to deploy its advanced IP core routing network technology as Cape Town transforms itself into a fully digital city.
As the economic hub of the Western Cape, a major tourist destination and one of the most populous cities in South Africa, Cape Town is home to many technology start-ups and a base for many global software companies, retail chains and financial companies. To drive growth and encourage new businesses to the area, the City of Cape Town wants to reduce the cost of broadband in order to expand access.
The new IP-based ultra-broadband infrastructure will help to lower the cost of broadband connectivity, connect underserved communities and stimulate new digital business development, while facilitating high-speed local government services.
With just 34% of South Africa’s population connected to the Internet in 2013, the national government wants to see that number increased to 50%, connected at 5Mbps, by 2016 and 90% by 2020 under the national broadband plan.
Working with its former subsidiary, Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise (divested to China Huaxin in 2014) and Bytes Systems Integration, Alcatel-Lucent is providing its IP routing portfolio – including the powerful 7950 Extensible Routing System – for the development of a high-performance IP network infrastructure.
This will initially enable high-speed government administration and management services including access for emergency services. In addition the City of Cape Town wants to encourage infrastructure sharing to allow third party communications providers to connect underserved communities, facilitate the delivery of e-services and drive socio-economic growth.
The City of Cape Town has signed a three-year agreement with Bytes Systems Integration to expand its broadband and IP routing architecture including the Alcatel-Lucent 7950 extensible routing system, 7750 Service Router Portfolio, the 7210 Service Access Switch and the 5620 Service Aware Manager for a broadband IP infrastructure project.
Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise will provide OmniSwitch Ethernet LAN switching portfolio to extend the services envisaged by the City of Cape Town to offices and remote locations as the network edge switches in connecting via Metro Ethernet.
Bytes Systems Integration is seamlessly integrating the 7950 extensible routing system.
ICT is one of the key priority areas in the City of Cape Town’s Integrated Technology Plan. The communication network will reduce costs, and make high-speed data, voice and video services available to municipal facilities, and provide government e-services. It will also enable the City of Cape Town to become a ‘carrier of carriers’ providing infrastructure for MVNO’s to deliver last mile broadband connectivity to homes and businesses.
Leon Van Wyk, telecommunications manager of the City of Cape, comments: “The development of this high-speed communications infrastructure will further reduce the cost of broadband services through enabling open access to the City’s broadband infrastructure for commercial service providers. This is facilitating easy access and driving competition hence reducing broadband services cost to the citizens. As a result of this, commercial ISPs are also using the City’s broadband infrastructure to provide internet access to the public via WiFi Zones.”
Rob Griggs, MD of Bytes Systems Integration, says: “As Bytes SI, we are entrusted with global technology collaborations by some of the world’s leading organisations to manage and support these world class product solution sets on behalf of our clients. We have the credentials and track record that will ensure that the City of Cape Town has the support needed for the network design and support services required in delivering a secure and reliable network that offers broadband for all.”
Daniel Jaeger, vice-president of Alcatel-Lucent Africa, adds: “This project highlights how our powerful 7950 XRS core router can serve the needs of governments and other organizations in addition to telecommunications service providers. This agreement builds on our growing momentum with governments in EMEA and around the world to develop more competitive nations and smarter cities, leveraging our expertise in IP networking, ultra-broadband and cloud technologies.”