Cape Town’s impoverished Delft residential area received an energising boost when Tellumat bought an existing non-functional Wi-Fi network and built a town-wide Wi-Fi network, connecting residents to vital economy services.

Market need

Delft, established in 1989, is an especially disadvantaged township near the Cape Town International Airport and Site C, Khayelitsha. It is known for its high crime rate, sub-standard schooling, low job supply and many government-built housing projects.

Delft’s residents numbered 150,000 in the 2011 census (50% more than its famous porcelain-manufacturing Dutch namesake). Composed almost entirely of LSM 3 and below households, the need for affordable connectivity was pronounced.

With no affordable internet access options, households and entrepreneurs remained largely excluded from the empowering world of Internet commerce, communication, education and entertainment.

Technology Solutions
Tellumat is currently upgrading an existing Wi-Fi network to an end-to-end solution, comprising the following:

  • Wi-Fi base stations and associated hotspots
  • Auxiliary technologies:
    • High-security cabinets to house radio equipment
    • Load-bearing antenna poles
    • Air-conditioning units managed by Tellumat’s TK1 Environmental Controller
    • Uninterrupted power supplies
    • Tellumat Power Manager – Managers power usage and consumption
  • Fibre connectivity backhauled by the City of Cape Town network.

Benefits

Having framed and scoped the need, Tellumat leveraged its industry-leading technology partnerships and full portfolio of implementation skills to deliver a turnkey solution that today serves the Delft community with vibrant Internet access and services.

Delft residents can now connect at a nominal cost (R10/ GB) to family, friends and business partners, and access Internet-delivered education, entertainment and commerce for the first time in accordance with their needs.

Given the open nature of the network, Tellumat will invite mobile network operators to co-locate with it in base station sites, allowing them to offer affordable network and data services to the community thereby improving Deft residents’ overall internet access experience.

The network will also provide a platform to promote educational content. Currently Tellumat rents real estate space from 22 schools in the area (for purposes of erecting masts), with the rental earned used by the schools to fund the salary of a teacher educating learners in ICT skills.

In addition, says Mbusi Sibisi of Tellumat Integrated Solutions, the network can be used as a job creation platform.  “Local residents receive training at a highly sophisticated call centre within Delft and are then able to work from home, delivering call centre services as a result of the improved network reliability and quality now available.”

Residents now also have access to a mobile app (IV. E-Wallet). This allows them to load cash into the E-Wallet, used for purchases at local spaza shops. It eliminates the need to carry cash, in addition to which a percentage of each purchase is automatically placed in a savings account used to fund either life or funeral insurance from local providers. The Delft community benefits as monies generated within the community remains within the community and residents now have access to much needed insurance services.

Sibisi says Tellumat is proud, along with all Delft residents, of the success of Yanga Sobetwa, a local resident who was crowned the winner of ‘Idols SA’ Season.

“The Tellumat Wi-Fi network was instrumental in ensuring and securing votes from fans in the Delft community, with Tellumat opening the network free of charge during voting on the Sunday evening. We’re proud to continue to be a part of Delft’s long overdue inclusion in the modern Internet-enabled world.”