Telkom South Africa says it invests up to ZAR 6.7 billion annually on broadband infrastructure as part of the Telkom Infrastructure Investment Programme, ITWeb reported. Group executive of regulatory affairs and government relations Siyabonga Mahlangu spoke at a panel discussion at the South Africa Investment Conference 2020 on growth opportunities for businesses in the ICT sector in the wake of Covid-19. Mahlangu said the ICT sector is likely to be better off than others, as demand for tech products and services increased during the lockdown.
Mahlangu said that the Telkom Infrastructure Investment Programme has played a crucial role in meeting the increased demand for essential technologies and connectivity since the onset of the national lockdown, as businesses rapidly accelerated initiatives such as remote work, e-commerce and digitisation. Telkom has been on a mission to transition its customers from copper-based internet to new-generation fibre technology in all fibre-ready regions of South Africa.
During the meeting, Telkom provided an update of the Infrastructure Investment Programme. The nationwide broadband infrastructure deployment enabled Telkom to work with 519 sub-contractors in 2019. Through this investment, Telkom has also managed to produce approximately 1,400 direct full-time jobs through subcontracting services.
The Telkom Foundation, which supports 3,200 students and provides digital skills training, has made strides in supplying qualified data scientists, many of whom have been used in innovation projects aimed at combating Covid-19.
Mahlangu highlighted the infinite opportunities that would present themselves when high-demand spectrum has been made fully available by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa, and the use of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and 5G for the mining, financial services, telecoms and manufacturing industries.