Telkom informed shareholders on Thursday that it remains locked in talks with MTN over a deal that could see the predominantly fixed-line operator outsource the management of its mobile radio access network to its rival.
The companies have been involved in talks for more than a year about a deal that would also expand the terms of their existing roaming agreement to include bilateral roaming, meaning users of both networks would be able to migrate seamlessly between them when accessing voice and data services.
Telkom entered a national roaming agreement with MTN five years ago, when it launched Telkom Mobile. That deal allows Telkom’s mobile customers to roam on MTN’s 2G and 3G voice and data networks.
Telkom confirmed last March that it was in discussions with MTN about a potential deal.
TechCentral first broke the news in November 2013 that the two companies were in sensitive discussions about a possible deal.
MTN and Telkom may be pursuing a deal, at least in part, because of Vodacom’s pursuit of Neotel, which has an extensive fixed-line infrastructure and IT assets, including data centres, and, crucially, also has access to radio frequency spectrum that can be used for building next-generation 4G/LTE networks.
As the country’s fourth mobile entrant, however, Telkom has struggled to gain meaningful traction, despite winning praise for the quality of its network. — (c) 2015 NewsCentral Media