Last Updated
Friday 19 December 2014, 09:33 am.
BTC backbone separation to cost P100m

The termination of Botswana Telecommunications Corporation's (BTC) monopoly on voice and data network provision is set to level the playing field and significantly reduce tariffs, a government ICT official has said.
By Staff Writer Mon 22 Dec 2014, 17:34 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: BTC backbone separation to cost P100m








In addition, Mabua Mabua, the ICT coordinator in the Ministry of Transport and Communications, has told Business Week that the separation of the backbone infrastructure would boost Internet penetration. Already, a new company, the Botswana Fibre Networks (BoFINET) has been incorporated to take over backbone infrastructure from BTC.

Mabua said BoFINET is expected to commence operations in the next 12 months to mark the completion of the second phase of the BTC privatisation process. "When BoFINET starts operating, we anticipate considerable decreases in Internet prices as BTC will now be standing on the same footing with all other companies. We are trying to get rid of cross-subsidisation within BTC.  This should help improve out Internet penetration which is currently very low," he explained.

Botswana's Internet penetration stands at around 10 percent. Mabua said that given the country's economic profile as measured by per capita GDP, the penetration is supposed to be as high as 30 percent.He explained that through the privatisation of BTC, the backbone infrastructure is being separated and bundled into a new government owned company. The development will see all Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and telecommunications companies including BTC, openly competing for network and bandwidth supply.

Currently BTC plays the dual role of being an ISP and a bandwidth supplier to the other ISPs. This gives it an unfair advantage over other ISPs and telecommunication firms such as Mascom and Orange. At the end of the separation, the assets to be transferred to BoFINET include the Trans-Kalahari Optical Fibre, the metropolitan fibre loops, the Gaborone/Francistown fibre loop, the Dense Wave Division Multiplex fibre system and both the Eastern Africa Submarine Cable System (EASSy) and the West Africa Cable System (WACS). Mabua stated that separation of the backbone infrastructure and operationalisation of BoFINET is expected to cost P100 million. The costs will include advisory services, operational systems and expansion of network

"We are going to acquire new billing, IT and accounting systems. We will also have to fill in some gaps in the industry in terms of the new company trying to reach to markets that are not serviced at the moment. All these costs should amount to about P100 million," said Mabua.

It is expected that most of the BoFINET staff will come from BTC, with the newly appointed board and executive management rolling out the full personnel structure. Once complete, the establishment and weaning off of BoFINET will allow the Public Enterprises Evaluation and Privatisation Agency (PEEPA) to prepare an Initial Public Offer of 49 percent of BTC's share structure to citizens.

Updating the Parliamentary Committee on ICT in Gaborone on Wednesday, PEEPA deputy CEO, Tiny Diswai-Moremi said that the closure of the privatisation process is now expected in 2014. But before that, the BTC Transition Act of 2008 will need to be amended to include a share option scheme established exclusively for citizen employees. Taking a cue from the National Development Bank (NDB) privatisation model, five percent of the 49 percent available will now be allocated to citizen employees of BTC through a share option scheme.



Exchange Rates
FOREIGN EXCHANGE: Monday, 22 Dec 2014
FOREIGN / PULA
PULA / FOREIGN
1 USD = Pula   9.4967
1 GBP = Pula   14.8588
1 EUR = Pula   11.6414
1 YEN = Pula   0.0795
1 ZAR = Pula   0.8203
1 Pula = USD   0.1053
1 Pula = GBP   0.0673
1 Pula = EUR   0.0859
1 Pula = YEN   12.58
1 Pula = ZAR   1.219
Banner Image
Stock Exchange
STOCK EXCHANGE: Friday, 19 Dec 2014
DOMESTIC STOCKS
ABCH
714
BARCLAYS
343
BIHL
1151
CHOBE
427
CHOPPIES
406
CRESTA
89
ENGEN
950
FNBB
362
FSG
237
FURNMART
220
G4S
374
LETLOLE
215
LETSHEGO
266
NAP
217
OLYMPIA
20
PRIMETIME
260
RDCP
202
SECHABA
2810
SEFALANA
922
STANCHART
1258
TURNSTAR
208
WIL
310
IMARA
210
  • Previous
    Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb Poster
    Next
    Masa Centre
    ::: Friday 19 Dec - Tuesday 23 Dec :::
    Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
    John Wick
    The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
    Love, Rosie
    Penguins of Madagascar
  • Previous
    John Wick Poster
    Next
    Riverwalk
    ::: Friday 19 Dec - Tuesday 23 Dec :::
    John Wick
    Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
    The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
    Walking on Sunshine
    Penguins of Madagascar
  • Previous
    Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb Poster
    Next
    Gamecity
    ::: Friday 19 Dec - Tuesday 23 Dec :::
    Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
    John Wick
    The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
    Penguins of Madagascar
    Love, Rosie
    The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1