Cape Town to reduce cost of broadband to expand access

Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) is to deploy its advanced IP core routing network technology in Cape Town as the economic and tourism hub of South Africa›s Western Cape transforms itself into a fully digital city working with Bytes Systems Integration. As the economic hub of the Western Cape, a major tourist destination and one of the most populous cities in South Africa, Cape Town is home to many technology start-ups and a base for many global software companies, retail chains and financial companies. To drive growth and encourage new businesses to the area, the City of Cape Town wants to reduce the cost of broadband in order to expand access. The new IP-based ultra-broadband infrastructure will help to lower the cost of broadband connectivity, connect underserved communities and stimulate new digital business development, while facilitating high-speed local government services. The development of this high-speed communications infrastructure will further reduce the cost of broadband services through enabling open access to the City›s broadband infrastructure for commercial service providers. This is facilitating easy access and driving competition hence reducing broadband services cost to the citizens. As a result of this, commercial ISPs are also using the City›s broadband infrastructure to provide Internet access to the public via Wi-Fi Zones, Leon Van Wyk, Telecommunications Manager, City of Cape Town said. With just 34% of South Africa’s population connected to the Internet in 2013, the national government wants to see that number increased to 50%, connected at 5 Mbps, by 2016 and 90% by 2020 under the national broadband plan. Working with its former subsidiary, Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise (divested to China Huaxin in 2014) and Bytes Systems Integration, Alcatel – Lucent is providing its IP routing portfolio – including the powerful 7950 Extensible Routing System – for the development of a high-performance IP network infrastructure. This will initially enable high-speed government administration and management services including access for emergency services. In addition the City of Cape Town wants to encourage infrastructure sharing to allow third party communications providers to connect underserved communities, facilitate the delivery of e-services and drive socio-economic growth. As Bytes SI, we are entrusted with global technology collaborations by some of the world›s leading organisations to manage and support these world class product solution sets on behalf of our clients. We have the credentials and track record that will ensure that the City of Cape Town has the support needed for the network design and support services required in delivering a secure and reliable network that offers broadband for all,” said Rob Griggs, Managing Director, Bytes Systems Integration said. His counterpart for Alcatel-Lucent Africa, Vice President Daniel Jaeger heralded the project as one that highlights how the company’s powerful 7950 XRS core router can serve the needs of governments and other organisations in addition to telecommunications service providers. “This agreement builds on our growing momentum with governments in EMEA and around the world to develop more competitive nations and smarter cities, leveraging our expertise in IP networking, ultra-broadband and cloud technologies,” Mr Jaeger added. Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is one of the key priority areas in the City of Cape Town›s Integrated Technology Plan. The communication network will reduce costs, and make high-speed data, voice and video services available to municipal facilities, and provide government e-services. It will also enable the City of Cape Town to become a ‹carrier of carriers› providing infrastructure for MVNO›s to deliver last mile broadband connectivity to homes and businesses. Alcatel-Lucent›s 7950 XRS offers class-leading switching capacity, port density and power efficiency (only 1 Watt per Gigabit traffic) on a single platform, allowing providers to grow capacity in minimal space and power footprint – power efficiency is a critical requirement in South Africa. Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise is a leading provider of enterprise communications solutions and services, from the office to the cloud. The company operates globally with over 2700 employees in over 100 countries worldwide with headquarters near Paris, in France. African Media Agency (AMA)

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