The first leg of the National Long Distance (NLD) contact, linking Gauteng and the soon-to-be launched Seacom undersea cable landing in KwaZulu-Natal with a fibre network, is still on track for completion before the FIFA World Cup 2010.

Construction, by Neotel Business Support Services (NBSS), has commenced.
“The fibre-optic network will provide Neotel, Vodacom and MTN with almost infinite bandwidth capacity to carry more information (voice and data) at higher speeds over greater distances using far less power than copper cables," says Imran Abbas, executive head of NBSS. "The deployment of high-speed, quality voice and data transmission is vital to remain competitive within the industry and to improve the overall customer experience for MTN, Vodacom and Neotel customers in the converged mobile and fixed line arenas in terms of availability, reliability and cost-effective end-to-end solutions.
"This will eliminate dependencies and enable these three companies to really take charge of their own destiny."
The first route of the national fibre network will extend from Gauteng to KwaZulu-Natal, incorporating Pietermaritzburg and Durban.
NBSS was formed after Neotel’s acquisition of Transtel.
“The acquisition of Transtel, the telecommunications leg of Transnet, was a major scoop for Neotel, as an organisation," says Abbas. "At the time of the deal, Neotel wanted to grow, but faced the challenge of finding the right resources – a challenge which immediately was overcome by the acquisition."
Neotel Business Support Services (NBSS), then was awarded the contracts to build the National Long Distance (NLD) fibre optic networks for Neotel, MTN SA and Vodacom. The network is set to cover a distance of 5 000km, connecting major centres across South Africa.