By SubTel Forum

Mybroadband.co.za is reporting that owners of the SEACOM submarine cable are disappointed with the South African market.  At a recent conference, SEACOM's Suveer Ramdhani described their business strategy like this: “It’s quite simple – we took 600-million dollars, threw it in the ocean, and said ‘we need this money back in five years.’ Whatever comes after that is profit. We expected higher market share, but it didn’t quite come through that way.”

A frequent complaint about SEACOM is that the anticipated price decreases haven't been realized, and that bandwidth has been slow to filter through to consumers.  “The limiting factor is backhaul,” Ramdhan says.  “There are those on the consumer side that want bandwidth, and there is us on the undersea side that want to give it – we just can’t seem to connect.”

“It’s kind of disappointing. We don’t have direct control over the retail market. I think everyone wanted to let SEACOM prove itself in the market – nobody wanted to make the first move. After a few months we saw [price] reductions in the market.” Ramdhani said that these reductions have generally not come from those who have bought from SEACOM's Tier 1 SEACOM clients.

“The people who are willing to reduce prices in the market don’t necessarily have their own access network. It really comes down to our channels to the market. The big boys that have [direct] access to customers, and have access to the national [backhaul], need to start dropping their prices as well,” he explained.

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