Joint venture takes aim at digital divide

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 27 Nov 2002

Durban-based Multiconsult Technologies - a 100% black-owned and controlled empowerment company - has entered into a joint venture with Paradyne Networks, a provider of broadband voice, data and video network access solutions in the US.

The partnership will see Multiconsult engineers receiving training in the operation of Paradyne`s systems and equipment, with the local company becoming Paradyne`s representative in sub-Saharan Africa.

"We have an agreement with them whereby we will represent Paradyne in the sales, installation and support of their entire product portfolio, and in return they will not compete with us on any level in this region," says Muzi Kunene, CEO of Multiconsult.

He says Paradyne provides a wide range of broadband solutions, including its ReachDSL product, which gives carriers the ability to deliver broadband over almost any copper line, even those that are very long or severely impaired.

"ReachDSL is a product that can truly help to bridge Africa`s digital divide as it can take broadband to rural communities that do not have high quality copper lines. It enhances the value of existing infrastructures and puts profitability back into the picture," says Kunene.

"An example of this can be found in high-rise buildings, where to add the infrastructure required for broadband would be prohibitively expensive. With ReachDSL, the existing lines can be used, thus putting profitability back into the client`s pocket."

Kunene says Multiconsult will look into a number of opportunities in the sub-Saharan region, as well as the possibility of working with either Telkom or the second network operator, or possibly both organisations.