Vumatel, the telecommunications start-up challenging Telkom’s dominance of fixed-line broadband in some of Johannesburg’s upmarket suburbs, has announced it is expanding its network to five new areas of the city.
The company said in a statement on Thursday that it will begin construction in Emmarentia later this month. This will be followed by deployments starting early next year in Forest Town, Parktown, Gallo Manor and Melrose.
This comes weeks after Vumatel announced plans to extend its fibre infrastructure into Northcliff, Sharonlea, Hyde Park and Olivedale.
Vumatel said Gallo Manor “provided one of the most stringent discovery processes encountered by Vumatel with regard to broadband connectivity within a suburb”.
“In the case of Gallo Manor, the evaluation was based on a broad range of 13 criteria, including price, community involvement and commitment, connectivity for religious institutions and schools, and technical solutions, among others,” the company said.
Brian Seligmann, a well-known technology industry veteran who led the Gallo Manor community project, said: “Gallo Manor issued a ‘technology neutral’ request for proposals in order to ensure that the best solution to the broadband problem [in the suburb]was addressed.
“It was primarily broadband linked. However, other services such as over-the-top television/video and the connection of our guardhouses and closed-circuit TV infrastructure were critical elements, too,” Seligmann said.
Vumatel has already deployed fibre infrastructure in Parkhurst, Parktown North, Greenside, Killarney, Riviera, Saxonwold and Parkwood. It is building networks in Blairgowrie, Victory Park, Linden, Hurlingham, Glenadrienne, Willowild, Riepen Park and Bryanston, it said.
Earlier this month, TechCentral reported that Vumatel had secured new funding from financial services provider Investec, which has taking a stake in the start-up business.
Neither party provided much detail about the deal. It’s not known what percentage stake Investec has bought, nor how much it is investing in the telecoms provider.
Vumatel CEO Niel Schoeman said at the time that the investment would allow the company to “connect up to 100 000 homes by 2016”.
Vumatel first began deploying fibre broadband connectivity in the upmarket Johannesburg suburb of Parkhurst in 2014. — © 2015 NewsCentral Media