Broadband goes downtown in Jhb

Telecoms

Du Pont Telecom is joining forces with property developers in Johannesburg and Pretoria to deliver telephone and broadband Internet connectivity to its residents. This follows its acquisition of Dabba Telecoms, a company specialising in providing voice and data services to under-serviced areas. 

Telecommunications solutions company Du Pont Telecom is joining forces with property developers in downtown Johannesburg and Pretoria to deliver affordable, reliable telephone and broadband Internet connectivity to residents of renovated highrise buildings.

This follows Du Pont’s recent acquisition of Dabba Telecoms, a company that was established to provide voice and data services to under-serviced areas.

The Du Pont-Dabba system is based on advanced VoIP (Voice over IP) technology. It has so far been installed in 52 highrises in the two cities where it is also used to provide security access control in the buildings.

The buildings have been wired to connect each flat to a central control unit which, in turn, is connected via a wireless link to Du Pont’s carrier-strength TELES Class 5 technology-based network.

A telephone handset provided in each flat serves as an intercom which residents use to admit visitors to the building.

Residents can then purchase Dabba airtime vouchers, allowing them to make voice calls from the flat’s handset or to access the Internet.

Du Pont CEO Graeme Victor says people living in high-rise, high-density areas generally can’t obtain fixed-line telephones in their flats. They therefore have to use prepaid cellphones for voice calls and prepaid 3G for internet access – both of which are extremely expensive.

“By using Dabba prepaid vouchers, their call and internet access costs are considerably reduced. International calls to other African countries are around 60 percent cheaper, a huge benefit to the many migrants who live in these buildings,” he adds.

According to Victor, while the system was originally developed to bridge the digital divide in areas without access to conventional telecommunications infrastructure, it is also starting to find favour in other high-density developments such as gated communities and office parks.

“Developers, body corporates and property management companies recognise that the system can deliver considerable value-add to tenants and property owners in these developments as it delivers immediate low-cost, high-quality broadband telecommunications connectivity to these areas,” Victor concludes.