Neotel launches wireless network

Zweli Mokgata

Zweli Mokgata

Neotel has begun the next stage of its assault on the state-owned telecommunications giant Telkom with a launch of its first WiMax offering.

The second network operator has named WiMax (wireless data connectivity) as a cost effective technology that can rapidly deploy last-mile telecommunications services.

WiMax is similar to Wi-fi, a technology used to connect users on a wireless network via a variety of technologies on a local area network like a home, office, hotel or restaurant.

WiMax is an advancement on the technology allowing connection over a much wider area such as a suburb or a city.

While new operators will have to wait for the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) to finalise its regulations for new licences, Neotel will be rolling out 100 base stations across Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban.

Rajeev Sinha, head of products and services for Neotel said: "We already have a licence to rollout services, so we don't have to wait for the new regulations."

Sekgoela Sekgoela, Icasa spokesman said: "Company's which already have licences won't be affected by any changes in regulations. The changes will only apply to new operators."

Neotel has been conducting tests around Gauteng with seven base stations that have shown "perfect" success, according to Sinha.