Vodacom Lesotho driving IPv6 launch after deployathon

Vodacom Lesotho is on track to launch commercial IPv6 services in early 2019, following a head start it acquired during an IPv6 deployathon, supported by Workonline, at the Africa Internet Summit ’18 held in Dakar, Senegal in April and May this year. We caught up with Ithabeleng Chabana from Vodacom Lesotho’s core networks team, to find out more.

During the deployathon, Chabana and her colleague, Malefane Khoete, successfully advertised Vodacom Lesotho’s IPv6 block to an upstream provider. But this was not as easy as it sounds. “I expected to spend about an hour on it, but we ran into a lot of challenges. Workonline helped us with things that we would never have been able to overcome if it were just the two of us,” she says.

“But they  didn’t take over. We were doing the work and when we ran into a challenge, they gave us time to reflect and troubleshoot while they provided consultation and asked the questions that allows us to really understand the problem, so we could get to the solution. It really was a joint effort.”

In addition, Chabana says, “being the only woman in the room was quite intimidating, but the guys were very welcoming and it was never implied that I was struggling because I am a woman.”

Back in Lesotho, progress has continued with the IPv6 project getting the stamp of approval from management, and the project plan itself being refined with the help of AFRINIC. The current timelines see Vodacom Lesotho launching its first commercial IPv6 service with an enterprise customer that has its own block of IPv6 numbers, in the first quarter of 2019.