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Telkom has no plans to build mobile network infrastructure in sparsely populated rural areas since there is already sufficient capacity there, says Attila Vitai, the parastatal’s consumer business head. Its largest rivals, Vodacom and MTN, have spent vast sums on ensuring there is ubiquitous voice and data connectivity across SA. But Telkom, which has a 2G and 3G roaming agreement with MTN, believed it would be a "waste of national resources" if it were to add more towers in nonurban areas, Vitai said. MTN and Vodacom’s rural base stations were probably significantly underutilised. "It’s better that we use the infrastructure that’s already being deployed there than allowing our competitors to have underutilised infrastructure and then we compound the problem by building even more. It’s better for us to pay Vodacom or MTN [roaming fees] and it’s better for them." Vitai said Telkom had been "investing heavily" in its urban network, having built more than 1,000 new sites in the past ye...

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