The former CEO of South African Airways and head of Vodacom Business, Vuyani Jarana, has launched Ilitha Telecommunications, providing accessible internet in underserved areas. It is supported by two development finance organizations and Microsoft. Its co-founder Jarana announced the company has funding backing from the Industrial Development Corporation and Development Bank of Southern Africa at the introduction of its brand and services yesterday in Mdantsane, Eastern Cape.
The introduction complements the recent significant improvement in the availability of less expensive and reliable digital telecoms connectivity throughout SA. The newest organization to announce plans to offer inexpensive internet connectivity in underserved communities was Project Isizwe last week. After acquiring $1 million, South African internet service firm TooMuchWifi has announced ambitions to expand the availability of inexpensive internet. With the audacious goal of “connecting homes in the township and rural areas, bringing cheap broadband to all,” Llitha has now entered the contest.
According to Jarana, the company’s basic beliefs, which include “bringing light at the end of the dark tunnel for people who have been left behind without access to inexpensive internet,” are reflected in the name Ilitha, which means the rays of the sun, sunshine, or light.
“The speed at which the company is providing this connectivity through fibre is super-fast – much like the speed of light. Initially our informal payoff line was ‘leave no person behind’, and consistent with this, and in providing the people who pay the most for data access to the internet, the name Ilitha was most fitting.
“Government has been on record about its desire to lower the costs of data. At Ilitha Telecommunications, we have just started making that dream a reality,” says Jarana.
The company, according to Jarana, offers distinctive fiber-to-the-home products with access to the network available in one-day, seven-day, and 30-day increments.”
On a 20/20 Mbps speed basis, all plans provide limitless data. Customers can purchase access online using gift cards from all major shops, as well as debit cards, credit cards, and other commonly utilized payment options that they are accustomed to using. The co-founder also promised the company will connect people, open doors, and transform lives through our investment in Ilitha. According to him, access to affordable, high-quality broadband has turned into a human rights issue as the internet has emerged as the most potent tool for fostering equality and advancing human development.
“We see our project going beyond what traditional telcos in South Africa have done all these years; we see internet as a vehicle to create digital jobs in the townships.”
Furthermore, Jarana says the company is working with the Microsoft Airband initiative, which aims to close the digital divide and bring high-speed internet connectivity to unconnected communities around the world.