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The SA telecoms market in 2010


The ICT landscape is changing fast, raising questions as to which providers will survive.

The local ICT and telecoms landscape is undergoing rapid changes, not only due to regulatory adjustments, but also technology advances and convergence between the various ICT services and offerings. This raises the question as to what the local ICT and telecoms landscape will look like a few years from now.

According to Vodacom Business, fixed-mobile convergence will reshape the current ICT landscape. Wally Beelders, Managing Executive of Vodacom Business, said that it is likely that three large ‘New Age Telcos’ will dominate the local market.

Beelders further predicts that there will be second tier consolidation in the market with a prevailing strong focus on and need for nomadic and fixed broadband, international capacity as well as data services and connectivity.

Internet Solutions CEO Angus McRobert however feels that there will always be five or six big players in the market, and added that the importance of reseller channels should not be underestimated.

“I suppose the monopolies never believe in a partner model, but there are many other smaller players out there whom we work closely with, who take us into markets we can't get into,” said McRobert.

Who will survive?

Vodacom is already positioning itself as a converged solutions provider, something which Neotel is also basing many of its service offerings and value propositions on.

MTN is also looking to stake their claim in the marketplace, and after talks broke down with Telkom it was soon linked with a potential acquisition of Verizon Business to strengthen its current position – through MTN Network Solutions - in the corporate and first tier ISP market.

Verizon Business has also been linked to players like British Telecom who seem keen to become one of the more prominent telecoms players in South Africa.

Telkom has also been busy trying to make a few deals and their name was recently connected to Oger Telecoms regarding acquisition talks – and then there were rumours of renewed talks with MTN in the media.

Vox Telecom, Internet Solutions, Cell C and even Sentech and InfraCo may also influence the local telecoms market. All these maneuverings are good news because they point to a more competitive telecoms and ICT sector in future.

What is probable is that Vodacom, MTN and Telkom - in some form or another - will continue to hold most of the cards as long as they continue to invest in the future of their companies and adapt to the ever changing ICT landscape.

Players like Internet Solutions and Vox Telecom – with their vast experience in the corporate market – may also present strong competition to the big three in future.

Source: My Broadband
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