Nic Rudnic Rudnick
Nic Rudnic Rudnick

Liquid Telecom will invest significantly in its new subsidiary, Neotel, in a bid to revive the ailing business.

The group would also announce a new CEO for the fixed-line operator in the coming weeks to "bring a fresh approach" to the firm, said CEO Nic Rudnick.

In June 2016, Liquid and black-owned entity Royal Bafokeng Holdings announced they would buy Neotel for R6.55bn. Liquid owns 70% and 30% is held by Royal Bafokeng.

The two plan to "rehabilitate" struggling Neotel‚ which has been battling to gain traction
10 years after it entered the highly competitive market.

The transaction was completed on Friday, paving the way for Neotel to start with its network upgrade and the rollout of new products.

"Neotel is back into investment mode," said Rudnick. "We have a good understanding of where Neotel is and its true potential going forward.

"The market will be impressed with our products," he said.

Neotel will be rebranded to "reflect the new vision of the company" and integrated into Liquid Telecom to create a single telecoms network across 15 countries in Africa.

Neotel will continue its significant focus on the enterprise market but Rudnick said consumers would not be neglected. Neotel had not performed well in the consumer market, but with the renewed focus on reviewing its network, it would ensure its customers received improved quality services.

"We are not going to replicate the same products that are already in the market. We will introduce a completely new generation of products and services," said Rudnick.

Neotel would review its technologies for the consumer market, he said.

"There is a need for a complete reinvestment in the network to ensure consumers are receiving adequate services," said Rudnick.

There is a potential partnership with Liquid Telecom’s sister company Kwese Media, which provides video-on-demand content. Both companies are subsidiaries of Econet Global.

On the appointment of the CEO, Rudnick said Neotel needed a leader who would bring "new ideas and new vision to reinvigorate" the business.

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