– South Africa’s Digital Telephony role enhanced with Wireless network

– Serving majority of the areas within South Africa starting in March

JOHANNESBURG, Feb. 22 2010 — O-Tel today announced that it will be ready to launch its much-anticipated new Wireless network in March, months ahead of its plan to establish a stable Last Mile Connectivity for its customers who are struggling with an over-subscribed DSL network and expensive SDSL connection.

Supporting a range of powerful Customer Premises Equipment, HighSite Transmitters, and access speeds as high as 54 Megabits per second (Mbps), the new network will deliver a direct and stable voice and internet connectivity to majority of the South African population across more than a half a million square kilometres. With almost 5,000 South Africans cities and towns covered, the all-new network will serve rural and remote locations as well as it does urban areas, making Digital voice and Internet access as fast at the farm or cottage as it is in the city.

“O-Tel announced in January 2009, when its license was converted to IECNS by ICASA, that we would launch our own network before the FIFA Soccer World Cup in June 2010, and I am proud to say our team has over-delivered. The new network will be ready to roll in March, quickly notching up competition and Wireless choice for consumers and businesses across the country and keeping South Africa at the forefront of Wireless innovation,” said Mohammad Patel, Chief Executive Officer of O-Tel Telecom South Africa.

“The new Wireless network executes on our strategic imperatives to accelerate Wireless in South Africa and to invest in next-generation broadband networks once ICASA resolves its spectrum issues- supporting our goal for O-Tel to be recognized by customers as South Africa’s leading communications company.”

With the busy year ahead where we’re coming out of the recession – when more clients are planning to move away from the incumbent operators – and the coming arrival of new Wireless brands and networks, O-Tel will be ready to compete.

“O-Tel is excited to offer South Africans access to the best network experience available anywhere in South Africa with the lowest cost on telecommunications. We’re happy to say that being with O-Tel just got better,” said Naresh Poonee, Johannesburg manager O-Tel’s services.

“Together with our existing customer network – currently based on a local incumbents’ countrywide largest network -wireless will allow O-Tel to offer South Africans the best of the Wireless world and break away from the oversubscribed and expensive current networks: alongside the long reach of wireless supporting vast coverage, the superior service efficiency in changing clients over from analog to digital telephony and high savings in communication costs.”

The new wireless network is the latest evolution of the international wireless standard, supporting peak download speeds of up to 108 Mbps. While the new network will be the broadest unlicensed band wireless network in South Africa by far, what really sets it apart is the underlying architecture.

“O-Tel is maximizing our wireless network advantage by preparing it to build out the vast majority of our next-generation network with high-speed fibre  – and an all-IP (Internet Protocol) architecture for enhanced reliability,” said Mr Patel.

“Our new wireless infrastructure will also layout the path to super high-speed 4G (fourth generation) LTE Wireless in the future, as soon as ICASA gives go ahead. Hats off to the O-Tel team members and O-Tel partners who are working so hard to build South Africa’s, largest unlicensed band wireless network in record time.”

The new network will be built with the latest wireless infrastructure supplied by partners Mikrotik.

O-Tel also recently announced a partnership with Mikrotik SA, the largest wireless operator in Cape Province, for reciprocal Cape coverage.

O-Tel greatly reduced the cost and time to market for the new network by leveraging its existing national network on Telkom’s ADSL and Diginet products.

The wholesale agreement was originally established in 2009 to ensure fast delivery of and increased competition in national voice and data services, especially in rural and remote areas.