Neotel’s fibre-to-the-home plans for South Africa
Neotel is developing a fibre-to-the-home play, but is not rushing it to market, its sales and marketing officer Michael Allschwang told MyBroadband. “We already have a very good fibre network, as you know,” said Allschwang. “We’ve rolled over 100,000km of fibre past businesses and homes in South Africa, and we have already built fibre to major enterprises.”
Following Liquid Telecom’s acquisition of Neotel, the next logical step is for them to roll out to smaller enterprises and homes, he said However, Neotel is not going to be a “me too” player.
“We don’t just think of fibre alone. We like to think of what people are doing with that fibre,” said Allschwang.
Instead of only putting fibre into areas based on basic demographics, Neotel and Liquid Telecom believe in a bundled play. “Let’s look at some of the social challenges that we face in our community. Healthcare, education, and security are right up there.”
Allschwang said he has seen fantastic models overseas that can bundle services which address these challenges, and which are easily deployable. This will not only ensure that the services are used, but will increase customer retention, he said.
Although companies such as Vumatel, Telkom, and Vox are already carving up the residential market as fast as they can put fibre in the ground, Allschwang said they are not rushing to market. Neotel wants to thoroughly understand the market before executing its strategy.
While doing that, it will focus on the enterprise and wholesale market to ensure the core business is right. “There is too much at stake not to do it properly,” he said, adding that he believes in the pursuit of less, only better. It’s about which which segments of the market they can serve better than anyone else, rather than trying to be everything to everyone.
“We’re here for the long haul.
We’ve invested in this business because we believe in the future of this continent.”
- ^ How Neotel shook up the South African telecoms market (mybroadband.co.za)