Local telecommunications equipment manufacturer and supplier Tellumat has secured a partnership with Telsima Corporation to distribute Telsima's award-winning WiMax equipment in Southern Africa.

WiMax technology provides wireless broadband access and is especially suitable for bringing broadband Internet and other services to communities without existing landline infrastructure, or where demand for copper-based ADSL broadband services outstrips supply.
Tellumat's executive for mobile and radio communications Geoff Carey says Telsima "is attractively priced compared to others in the market and has unique mobility features that make it very suitable for the African market."
Carey says WiMax may be easier to deploy in Africa than in industrialised nations – "even though the part of the radio spectrum it uses is licensed," he says. "In Europe and the US it's a big challenge to clear sufficient spectrum for WiMax allocation because of high demand and since the spectrum was allocated to other technologies in the past.
"In South Africa and the rest of Africa there is generally spectrum available in the WiMax frequency bands for broadband wireless access, making deployment of WiMax more feasible and the technology less complicated to implement."
So far ICASA has granted licences for commercial WiMax services to Telkom, Neotel, Sentech and iBurst as well the holders of Under-Serviced Area Licences (USALs). Certain of the USAL's are already planning and deploying WiMAX for broadband, VoIP (Voice over IP) and other telecommunications services in their particular areas.
Carey says WiMax has several advantages over ADSL, even in urban areas.
"Copper landline is the traditional way of delivering ADSL broadband services. The waiting list for ADSL at the moment is much longer than most people are prepared to wait and the service is only available within about 5 kilometres of the nearest exchange or concentrator.
"On the other hand, wireless access using WiMax delivers broadband connectivity to users located up to thirty kilometres of a base station. Therefore, WiMax can complement the fixed-line infrastructure beyond the reach of existing copper or where the copper infrastructure is unavailable (such as the rural and under serviced areas targeted by the USALs). Wireless access allows for rapid and cost-effective implementation of broadband services in these areas."
Telsima's mobility features, says Carey, are an added benefit. "It means consumers can enjoy wireless broadband not just in their homes, but potentially around the country," he says.