Speculation is rife again that Telkom Mobile and MTN have reached a network-sharing deal, with The Sunday Times reporting that according to industry insiders, a “joint venture” deal had been struck behind closed doors.
Spokespersons for both companies did not confirm this when contacted, but Sunday Times points out they did not deny it.
Telkom said they are still in discussions with various parties about Telkom Mobile and will announce something in due course.
MTN said the company does not comment on market speculation, but as normal business practice, engages with companies such as Telkom on roaming agreements.
Rumours regarding an MTN and Telkom Mobile deal have been doing the rounds since December 2013.
Industry speculation suggest that through such a deal MTN will get access to Telkom Mobile’s 2,300MHz LTE network, and may even invest in the growth of this network.
A closer relationship between MTN and Telkom regarding backhaul and transmission network capacity acquisition is another benefit to both parties.
Telkom has an extensive country-wide fibre network, with a strong mast infrastructure presence in rural areas. This can help MTN to develop a country wide LTE network in SA.
Such a deal will make it possible for Telkom Mobile to continue operating in the way it does now, but without the need to continue investing heavily in its network.
Source: Sunday Times (2 March 2014)
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