BitCo’s invisible lines foil copper theft to keep business connected
[Olivedale, Johannesburg, South Africa, July 2012]
South African business continues to suffer disruption to vital communications links owing to the high rate of copper theft. In response, local telecommunications company BitCo has come up with the perfect solution: a wireless solution to keep businesses up and running.
Cable theft has seemingly become endemic in South Africa on the back of soaring copper prices, which have risen by a factor of approximately four since 2009. In fact, the problem has become so acute, and its impact on business so profound, that the SA Chamber of Commerce launched a copper theft volume indicator in May. The indicator shows that copper to the value of R23 million was stolen in South Africa during the month of May 2012 alone.
“In May, some 356 tons of copper was stolen in South Africa—much of it deriving from cable theft,” said Garth van Sittert, technical director at BitCo. “Aside from the cost to the economy, cables can take a long time to be replaced, putting the businesses using those lines at risk. In today’s world, if you aren’t connected, you can’t trade. Our ‘invisible lines’ solution offers business a way to overcome the challenge.”
BitCo’s solution offers a wireless alternative to businesses plagued by copper theft. The solution uses radio waves to transmit information using high points such as building roofs and towers as relay stations—and from these points to clients’ premises. The result is a metropolitan network based on Ethernet standards—or Metro Ethernet.
The company offers its clients a range of Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) telephony options as well as Internet access. Telephony packages range from two analogue lines to four Primary Rate Interface lines (E1), the standard protocol for delivering telecommunications services to offices. BitCo’s connection can be linked to any type of PBX and uses the latest technology (session initiation protocol or SIP) to ensure excellent quality.
Both capped and uncapped Internet services are offered, with speeds ranging from 526 kilobits per second to 8 megabits per second.
The offering is already available in Johannesburg and is currently being rolled out in Durban.
“BitCo’s invisible lines offering is cost-effective in its own right, with savings of up to 40% on outgoing calls as compared to competitors using traditional copper connections, as well as guaranteed uptime,” says van Sittert. “But when you factor in the costs of losing connectivity for several days or weeks, this kind of reliability really is priceless.”