Telkom spins off wholesale arm as Openserve - TechCentral

Telkom spins off wholesale arm as Openserve

Openserve MD Alphonzo Samuels

Openserve MD Alphonzo Samuels

Telkom has announced it is spinning off its wholesale division as a separate business with its own brand identity. The new business will be called Openserve and is meant to serve not only Telkom but the entire telecommunications market in an open and transparent manner.

At a launch event in Johannesburg on Tuesday, Telkom CEO Sipho Maseko said the decision to separate the wholesale business would have a big impact on South Africa’s economy and would help to bridge the digital divide.

“Through this separation, we remove a critical stumbling block on our path to success,” Maseko said.

In a statement, Telkom described Openserve as a “distinct business unit within the Telkom group, which is formed as part of the company’s ongoing efforts to strengthen customer focus through a more flexible and agile operating model”.

“The separation heralds a new era in the Telkom group as it prepares to welcome a more open-access environment and all the opportunities it offers. This move is also in line with Telkom’s turnaround strategy to separate its wholesale and retail divisions to facilitate greater focus, accountability and most importantly, customer centricity,” the company said.

Maseko said separation is important for Telkom as it facilitates the independence of the consumer division from the wholesale and networks division.

“Through this separation, Telkom will improve its customer focus and establish clearer lines of accountability. As a standalone business unit within Telkom, Openserve will be autonomous and will be responsible for its own profit and loss account.”


Openserve MD Alphonzo Samuels said the separation signals a commitment to lower prices for consumers. “Telkom has already begun reducing prices associated with wholesale network infrastructure access. With the launch of Openserve, we want to make a significant impact on the way we provide open-access broadband to all South Africans.”

Telkom said Openserve will enable more choice and innovation as well as greater service provider competition. “The result will be increased broadband access,” it said. “Telkom intends to play a substantial role in lowering the barrier to entry for new players and to increase the competitiveness of smaller players.”  — (c) 2015 NewsCentral Media


  1. Hitting Thefan on

    hopefully they full fill the open and transparent part, and do not favour there own ISP which will in the long run hurt there reputation which is already in tatters.

  2. ‘there own ISP’…THEIR own.
    “there reputation’…THEIR reputation.
    Some person’s spelling is in tatters as well it would seem.

  3. Hitting Thefan on

    Maybe they are a product of the current education system, just kidding. I think I got some sort of disability.

  4. William Stucke on

    Well thank you, Sipho, and well done. It may be churlish to say “I told you so” but I have been advocating this to Telkom (and ICASA) since I became involved in LLU in 2011. And all this fibre being rolled out means that LLU has effectively become irrelevant. Telkom’s strident opposition has simply meant that Telkom has missed an opportunity to get some return on a significant asset that was largely laying idle – and is now valueless.
    Witness the “impairment of legacy assets” by R12bn in 2013. What was that if not the ALD – an artefact of an old accounting system that recorded a non-existent value?

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