Pan African telecoms group, Liquid Telecom, on Wednesday said it has launched the fastest direct land-based fibre link connecting East to West Africa. Photo: Reuters

CAPE TOWN – South Africa’s biggest digital content services provider, Sentech, is pushing forward to meet the fourth industrial revolution head-on with its new broadband offering, Sentech Connect. 

The company made the announced of the broadband offering at AfricaCom in Cape Town, the biggest Information Communications and Technology exhibition on the continent. 

The broadband will amongst other things, allow for creation of smart classrooms, smart city services and improve public safety initiatives while also encouraging the growth of the internet of things.

Sentech CEO Mlamli Booi said the company is well positioned to play a significant role in the implementation of SA Connect’s mandate and servicing of government with wireless broadband services.

At the launch were various government departments and technology giants, who applauded Sentech for its commitment to rolling out its connectivity services. 

Sentech Connect will also digitise healthcare, education and government services in under-serviced and rural areas, bridging the digital divide with fast reliable broadband connectivity. 

The solutions offered by the broadband will make use of various networks ranging from broadband to ultra-narrow band. 

Booi said the technology giant will accelerate connecting the whole country to the high-speed communications infrastructure by 2030, placing South Africa on the path of meeting the National Development Plan’s targets of creating a truly inclusive information society. 

"As the world progresses towards becoming more digitised and connected, we also need tools that can harness connectivity, bettering the lives of South Africans through reliability and convenience," said Booi. 

According to BioMed Central (BMC) Public Health, using the internet and related technologies, e-health seeks to improve health services locally, regionally and worldwide. It is used within the health sector for clinical, educational, preventative, research and administrative purposes, both on-site and remotely. 

Booi emphasized that access to connectivity provides numerous benefits for schools including the upskilling of teachers, interactive localised teaching; additional online notes, videos, exercises and assessments and interactive global teaching to add additional value to the content-based curriculum. 

The product will also allow South Africa to produce globally competitive leaners while skilling, upskilling and re-skilling the current workforce in line with the market’s demands of tomorrow’s skills. 

"Through broadband technology, SENTECH CONNECT can allow for the creation of safer public spaces, more reliable transport and a government that is more connected with its citizens, vastly improving service delivery," says Booi.

According to the World Economic Forum’s study on Future Jobs, nearly 50% of companies expect that automation will lead to some reduction in their full-time workforce by 2022, based on the job profiles of their employee base today.  However, 38% of businesses surveyed expect to extend their workforce to new productivity-enhancing roles, and more than a quarter expect automation to lead to the creation of new roles in their enterprise. 

Booi said Sentech's journey into broadband means that the entity will continue to leverage its infrastructure to grow both its current business and its expansion into connectivity. 

"There is no denying how vital connectivity has become and we need to ensure that as a country we can tap into the massive potential it will usher in. Sentech has gladly accepted the task of ensuring the country’s connectivity, especially in rural and under-serviced areas. Our organisation’s intellect, established infrastructure and experienced personnel makes us the ideal fit to do the job effectively and efficiently," said Booi.

BRI