Fast and stable connectivity is critical in today’s world, yet in South Africa and most of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, there remains a significant gap in its availability in urban versus rural and semi-rural areas. VH Fibre Optics, part of Alviva Holdings, is expanding its portfolio and repositioning its offerings toward closing this gap, with an end-to-end offering and new solutions that bring cost-effective connectivity options as an alternative to long-distance fibre.
“In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the need for ubiquitous connectivity has never been clearer. Unfortunately, large parts of South Africa in particular, remain without access to high-speed bandwidth, and this has had severe implications. Many learners were left behind when schools moved online, businesses that could not operate online were compelled to close, and opportunities for telemedicine were not available. With uncertainty still hanging over the future, it is a long overdue requirement to address this connectivity gap. Our focus is now on bringing fast, stable connectivity to all,” says Johan Kleynhans, MD at VH Fibre Optics.
VH Fibre Optics is addressing this challenge by supplementing the existing fibre footprint with innovative wireless solutions combining technologies such as TV White Space (TVWS), V and E band wireless radios as well as Wi-Fi. These types of solutions are ideal for the South African and larger SADC market, as broadcast networks are already pervasive throughout the country, including in areas where it is currently not cost-effective to deploy fibre solutions. The combination and use of these wireless technologies provide the crucial ‘link’ for connectivity until critical mass and the viability of fibre is established in rural and semi-rural areas.
The VH Fibre Optics end-to-end offering encompasses design, planning, deployment, compliance, testing, maintenance, and importantly – support. This offering will empower individuals, businesses, and industries in previously disconnected areas to make use of the multitude of benefits attached to high-speed connectivity. In addition, VH Fibre Optics will be operating on a ‘build and transfer’ model which enables network operators to take on a fully developed network and extend their reach, and their services, into outlying areas.
“Locally, the National Development Plan (NDP) 2030 aims to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality. We believe that connectivity, as an enabler for numerous digital transformation technologies, plays a vital role in achieving these goals and in bringing opportunities to all citizens.
Our hybrid solution will enable our open-access fibre and wireless network clients to expand their market, helping all of South Africa to compete on a global stage and bringing economic stimulus,” says Kleynhans.
As VH Fibre Optics moves into new verticals, technologies and industry sectors, the company is well positioned to help its clients with rolling out their networks and facilitating their growth strategies. There are also numerous opportunities in the Southern African Development Community (SADC), as lack of connectivity is a common challenge across the region.
“Fibre is not as prevalent in Africa as other regions across the world, and these alternative hybrid technologies have a significant role to play in connecting the continent. Our goal is to tailor our solutions to address the specific challenges in each market instead of using a one-size-fits-all approach, with the ultimate aim of bridging the connectivity gap. It is the key to progress and empower businesses and individuals across not just South Africa, but SADC and the rest of Africa,” Kleynhans concludes.
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