Local technology group Tellumat has been named the preferred supplier to provide, implement and maintain the soon-to-be-launched national WiMax network for Neotel, South Africa’s first converged network operator.
The contract stipulates the rollout of Neotel’s WiMax base stations, and subscriber units over a number of years, representing one of the key wireless access technology solutions in Neotel’s broadband network rollout. For the WiMax technology supply and integration, Tellumat will work closely with its WiMax technology partner, Telsima.
The Neotel WiMax network compliments its metropolitan area networks and local area networks by adding a further wireless option to its portfolio, providing a cost and deployment effective broadband wireless solution for customers.
“Our aim is to bring world class proven technologies into South Africa for the benefit of our customers, the industry and the South African economy,” says Angus Hay, Neotel’s chief technology officer. “Our choice of partners, such as Tellumat, is based on the same principles of bringing the best in class in order for us to fulfil our promise of bringing down the cost of doing business.”
WiMax won the technology contest hands-down, says Geoff Carey, managing executive of Tellumat Wireless Solutions.
“It will enable speedy rollout in South Africa’s main urban centres and certain suburban points of presence (POPs). WiMax-delivered last-mile connectivity will give Neotel’s corporate clients and residential customers quick broadband access to Neotel’s rapidly expanding national network.”
As for choosing Tellumat, the reasons are four-fold, he says. “The solution developed by our technology partner, Telsima Corporation, gives Neotel the benefit of going commercial today with award-winning, WiMax Forum-certified 802.16d technology. This technology basis is both cost-effective and stable and furthermore can be migrated to the mobile WiMax 802.16e standards when the certification processes and technology maturity allow.”
Other factors include Tellumat Wireless Solutions’ referenceability, having successfully implemented and serviced a variety of self-manufactured and imported technologies such as point-to-point microwave access links, WiMax, mobile payphones and professional services. Tellumat was contracted by Neotel for full turnkey implementation of microwave link solutions in 2007. The division boasts a full complement of skills surrounding the design, manufacture, implementation and servicing of these technologies.
Carey adds that the Neotel contract specifies the engagement of small, micro- and medium-sized enterprises by the winner, for the installation and maintenance portion of the agreement.
Tellumat will use qualified small-operator subcontractors to honour installation of the subscriber unit portion of the deal. The company has undertaken the challenge of skilling up sub-contractors to the required level, if necessary. Other servicing partners will be selected from Tellumat’s list of preferred subcontractors.