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Telkom alternative for consumers soon

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Neotel will start rolling out its consumer offerings by March 2008, challenging Telkom in the residential telephony and broadband markets.  

The network operator is currently running a pilot trial of its consumer offerings, which it will offer in the public domain early next year, says Ajay Pandey, MD of Neotel.
"The best way to empower the consumer is to have a situation where they can walk into a shop, buy a phone and get it switched on immediatly – they shouldn't have to wait for a phone or Internet connection.
"This is how it happens elsewhere in the world."
Neotel will formally launch itself on 15 November, when it will announce its plans, products and offerings in the enterprise space.
It is already supplying infrastructure services to some significant South African enterprise customers, including SITA, Internet Solutions and Bloomberg.
The company, previously known as the Second Network Operator (SNO), officially opened its doors in August 2007 and has spent the last year putting its infrastructure in place and securing some core enterprise and government contracts.
In August 2007, it successfully bought the telecommunications assets of Transtel and has also been installing its own fibre optic backbone.
Neotel currently boasts about 8 000km of fibre on its national network, linking Gauteng, Cape Town and Durban; and also has about 1 200km deployed in metropolitan networks in the country's main cities.