Telkom SA and MTN have successfully concluded a national roaming agreement, which will see Telkom entering the mobile voice and data market in South Africa.
The agreement paves the way for Telkom to launch its mobile service later this year by offering its customers seamless access to a stable MTN SA network with a substantial national footprint, whilst continuing to roll out its own mobile base stations.
Since divesting from Vodacom, Telkom has been clear about its strategic intent to compete in the mobile market by building its own network in key areas and through strategic partnerships in other areas. The national roaming agreement, announced today, represents one such strategic partnership, and is in keeping with the changes in the telecommunications landscape – including the move towards infrastructure sharing between operators.
Telkom Group CEO Reuben September comments: “I am delighted to make known the conclusion of a roaming agreement with MTN that will enhance Telkom’s ability to effectively compete in the mobile marketplace. I regard this agreement as a breakthrough indicator of Telkom’s ability to successfully implement its strategy. Telkom is mindful that it needs to clearly illustrate delivery on its objectives; and ensure that its efforts to enhance shareholder value are brought to fruition.”
Karel Pienaar, MD of MTN SA, adds: This agreement with Telkom demonstrates our continued commitment to provide connectivity for all South Africans. By joining forces, we are able to leverage our already significant investment in our network infrastructure. It puts us at the forefront of continued provision of world-class communications and connectivity.
“Continued growth and access to quality services are non-negotiables in our business strategy. Since our inception 15 years ago, we have made huge strides in expanding our national reach through extensive and sustained local investment in infrastructure to ensure a quality network. We are excited by the synergies and depth of penetration that will be unlocked through the combination of the two companies’ extensive footprints,” he adds.
Pienaar emphasises that infrastructure sharing makes sense. “It not only reduces duplication and infrastructure roll-out and maintenance costs, but also leads to effective utilisation of available network capacity."