Port of Mossel Bay telecoms network gets smart

[Mossel Bay, South Africa, 11 February 2020] A multimillion-rand network upgrade is underway at the Port of Mossel Bay as part of a wider programme to cater for growing demand at the port, which is entrenching itself as the premier logistics hub for the oil and gas industry in the Southern Cape.

Independent telecommunications company, Liquid Telecom, was appointed by Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) to upgrade the port’s communications infrastructure and better align it with TNPA’s vision of establishing world-class ‘Smart People’s Ports’.

Mossel Bay Port Manager, Shadrack Tshikalange, said the immediate benefits of the project would include greater network stability and speed, minimal maintenance and cost savings of between 40 to 60 percent. “The current network in the Port of Mossel Bay uses older technology and we are on a mission to address such capacity constraints at the port. This is because we play an important role in supporting the local fishing industry, the oil and gas industry, ship repair and the tourism sector, despite being the smallest of the commercial ports along the South African coast,” he said.

He added, “To ensure that we can deliver a globally competitive smart port, we are migrating from analogue to digital and modernising our telecoms infrastructure to accommodate the use of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). There will also be upgrades to our audio-visual and video conferencing facilities, as well as our server room, security building, civil workshop and our Quay 4 offices.”

The network upgrades will run in tandem with the extension of the port’s administration building which is expected to be completed in early 2020.

Tshikalange assured customers that the network upgrade is not expected to affect operations. “Employees will be moved to alternative working spaces during construction when necessary. The upgrade of the network will be seamless and will not affect any operations,” he said.

Testing and commissioning are expected to take place at the end of May and the project is expected to be closed out by early June.

Contractor, Liquid Telecom, is the leading independent data, voice and IP provider in eastern, central and southern Africa. It supplies fibre optic, satellite and international carrier services to Africa’s largest mobile network operators, ISPs and businesses of all sizes and also provides payment solutions to financial institutions and retailers. The organisation champions the Liquid Telecom Innovation Partnerships initiative, which aims to support the growth of digital technology innovation across Africa, including providing start-ups in the region with access to high-speed connectivity through innovation hub partners, accredited training, funding and business opportunities.

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