Johannesburg — The Wi-Fi Forum of South Africa (WFFSA) is confident engagements with leading information and communications technology industry associations will enhance access to Wi-Fi and subsequently enhance economic growth.
The organisation has already engaged with the Fibre to the Home (FTTH) Council Africa, Wireless Access Providers' Association (WAPA) and Internet Service Providers' Association (ISPA) on areas of common interest, and plans to increase consultations for the remainder of 2015.
Speaking at the Forum's mid-year General Meeting, which took place recently in Stellenbosch, Western Cape, WFFSA Chairperson, Andile Ngcaba, said the appointment of Mashila Matlala to the Management Committee, with responsibility for stakeholder engagement, would help the Forum achieve its mandate of constructive co-operation with established ICT players in pursuit of open-access principles.
"Operators restricting access to their networks is counter-productive and is holding South Africa back from achieving universal access and poverty-beating economic growth," he said.
"While we have yet to fully define engagement and partnership models, we're pleased to have had dialogue with WAPA and the FTTH Council Africa, in particular, where it was agreed to align strategies, avoid divergent views, use common working groups and conduct joint research," added Ngcaba.
He noted South Africa had just over 0,03 percent of the globe's almost 300 million Wi-Fi hotspots when the GDP value of its economy represents almost 0,6 percent of the world's output.
"We need to deepen our engagement with the industry and sell the concept of the heterogeneous network," said Ngcaba.
Meanwhile, the complete WFFSA Management Committee for 2015/2016 is Ngcaba (Chairperson), Raj Wanniappa (Executive Deputy Chairperson), Mpho Mokete (Treasurer), Brian Mdluli, Gareth Mortimer, William Stucke, Matlala (elected at the GM) and Envir Fraser (co-opted).