Telecommunications & postal services minister Siyabonga Cwele has challenged Telkom’s rivals to follow the operator’s lead in embracing open-access networks.
Cwele on Tuesday lauded Telkom for spinning off its wholesale and networks business into a new business called Openserve, similar to how the UK’s BT Group spun out Openreach in 2006.
“This development will accelerate the implementation of the open-access policy that will allow access to critical infrastructure by all licensed operators, reduce barriers to entry to the market and allow infrastructure sharing, thereby reducing duplication of infrastructure,” Cwele said in a statement.
“In the end, it could lead to a faster deployment of broadband infrastructure and services to reach all areas of the country, reduce the cost to communicate and ensure access to affordable data and other electronic communications.”
Cwele said that by embracing open access, Telkom could help facilitate the entry of new telecoms players, “especially black participants in one of the key sectors of the economy”.
“The recent national general council of the ANC reaffirmed the ANC’s position that government should create an open-access environment in the ICT sector in order to drive the uptake and use of [technology] as part of accelerating radical socioeconomic transformation and facilitating greater social inclusion,” the minister said in the statement.
“An open-access environment could create space for the emergence of black industrialists in ICT.”
Cwele said he challenges other telecoms operators to “align themselves with the call” for open-access infrastructure. — © 2015 NewsCentral Media