Tuesday, January 18, 2022

BIH signs milestone agreement with ConcerolTel

ConceroTel (Pty) Ltd says it has major plans to deliver low-cost, high availability ICT access services to bridge the digital divide in Botswana and launch into Sub-Saharan Africa. On Thursday, the company signed the first lease agreement of 45 years for private sector led development with the Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH) Science and Technology Park. The signing of the lease is said to be a culmination of Botswana Innovation Hub’s continuing efforts to attract investments from innovative companies and institutions.

The company’s chairman, Mark Sprey said the agreement allows ConceroTel to establish a new satellite communications hub facility, data centre and network operations centre at the park. Sprey said the company will also establish a small video conferencing facility for high-quality access to Gaborone based SME’s.

“We offer satellite solutions that expand on existing terrestrial technologies such as fibre-optic, copper and wireless or radio technologies. This technology enables rapid deployment for rural and remote access,” he said.

He explained that ConceroTel is a joint venture telecommunications company established in Botswana by ConceroTel of Australia and Decibel Enterprises of Botswana. ConceroTel Director, Thuli Ntsatsi explained that the project’s rough estimate is around P20 million and will be determined by demand in the market. Ntsatsi said the company will target government entities, mining companies as well as enterprises.

He said delivery of equipment for setting up the satellite centre is scheduled to be completed by 31st August 2014 while the testing and live deployment of the first services will be available to customers during September, 2014. He stated that tenders for construction of the data and network operating centres will be issued in November, 2014.

“The network operations centre will be twinned with the Australian sister company’s facility to exploit time differences for 24hrs managed network support. This support is useful to customers such as mining companies and banks, whose services run around the clock,” he said.

Ntsatsi said Botswana Innovation Hub is located in a key part of Gaborone where vital industry is located. He cited the Diamond Technology Park as well as the impetus given to the Science Park as examples for the need for high speed reliable communications services for data centres.

Speaking at the signing of the lease, Botswana Innovation Hub Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Alan Boshwaen said the hub acts as a catalyst in the development of a robust ICT industry and creation of an innovation supporting ecosystem. He added that BIH supports the development of innovative local content, skills and job creation as part of the national ICT development strategy and e-government.

“The signing of this lease agreement further signals a milestone in the Botswana Innovation Hub specialised real estate product and service offering for companies that wish to set up at the park,” said Boshwaen.

He cited examples at the hub such as the First Step Venture Center (FSVC), Microsoft Innovation Centre (MIC), Clean Tech Centre, Southern African Innovation Support (SAIS), Science and Technology as well as Real Estate.

Boshwaen emphasized that BIH is also focusing on quick-wins such as technology transfer, attracting hi-tech organizations, and capacity development components as evidenced by its partnerships with other organizations.

“We are optimistic at BIH that innovation will have a positive impact on economic diversification if nurtured well,” said Boshwaen.


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