18 January 2013

South Africa: Telkom Ready for Afcon

Pretoria — With less than a day to go to the start of the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon), telecommunications company Telkom says it is ready to deliver services that are required for South Africa's hosting of the tournament with no network failures expected.

"Having prepared for the 2013 Afcon in record time, Telkom is pleased to help tie together this nation-building event. Smooth technical operations are crucial for the success of such occasions and we will deliver nothing less," Telkom Business Managing Director, Dr Brian Armstrong, said on Friday.

The tournament kicks-off tomorrow at the National Stadium with an opening ceremony followed by a match between Bafana Bafana and Cape Verde, at 6pm.

Telkom has been requested to render a range of Information Technology and Telecommunications services for the duration of the tournament.

It will provide a range of both voice and data mobile services and products.

"The experience of the 2010 FIFA World Cup has helped Telkom greatly in delivering on critical services for events like the Afcon. The scales of the two events are vastly different and as a result, so are the risks. We could not be better prepared," said Dr Armstrong.

Telkom will also deliver an IP based Virtual Private Network (VPN) for the purposes of voice, data and video traffic.

This said, Telkom will ensure that the Local Organising Committee's (LOC's) Sandton headquarters will be connected in real-time to the five stadiums that will be used - in Johannesburg; Nelspruit; Durban; Port Elizabeth and Rustenburg - at any point in time.

The service will be managed from the Telkom National Network Operations Centre in Centurion.

Telkom has made provision for Internet access for both national and international communication to be used by the international media fraternity.

This will enable journalists and commentators to file their respective stories on time. Wireless access (WiFi) services will be deployed at locations such as the media tribune, broadcast compound, and accreditation centres at each of the utilised stadiums.

"Every precaution has been taken to avoid network failures, including additional redundancy via dual access infrastructure and 24/7 network management," said Dr Armstrong.

Telkom will also deploy six telepresence units at the stadiums and LOC headquarters in Sandton to support the operational requirements of the Afcon LOC.

On Thursday, the South African Police Service (SAPS) jointly with the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) assured soccer fans who will be coming to the country for the tournament that they will be protected from the moment they arrive at the country's ports of entry.

The soccer spectacle concludes on 10 February.

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