Our Portfolio of Services

Responsiveness and service excellence

Our vision is to provide the best possible service at all times, and to continue to grow our service offerings in line with international best practice and the changing needs of higher education in South Africa.

We understand that connectivity, storing and moving large amounts of data – together with the related aspects of trust and identity – impact every area of your organisation. With our users’ interests at heart, we are motivated by the excitement of these challenges, and are expanding our service offerings on an ongoing basis in line with global industry best practice.

TENET operates the SANReN network under the terms of a Collaboration Agreement with the CSIR. As a highly responsive service organisation, TENET provides a growing number of connectivity and ancillary services specifically tailored to the needs of the South African higher education and research communities. Together these components make up the South African National Research and Education Network (SA NREN).

Currently, TENET provides Internet and related services to more than 350 campuses of 85 institutions. We are evolving this national network exponentially in response to our market’s demand for moving data. And, thanks to our broad understanding of the international research and education space, we are also able to drive the development of innovative solutions that respond proactively to our users’ needs.

Broadly speaking, our services comprise the following:

Collaboration Services

Content Services

  • Mirror: This service hosts mirrors of popular open-source and free content, including SourceForge, various Linux distributions, and other software used by the research community. More on the Mirror Service.

DNS Services

  • ac.za registry: TENET is the custodian of the ac.za domain, a distinctive Internet domain name space used by South African higher education institutions, learned societies and associated research and support institutions. TENET acts as the Administrator, Registry Operator, Moderator, and sole Registrar of the domain under authority from the .za Domain Name Authority. More on ac.za.
  • Secondary DNS hosting: Providing secondary hosting of domains on behalf of beneficiaries means improved reliability and resiliency of the Domain Name System.

Network Services

  • Network connectivity: TENET provides and operates a national, high-speed network connecting South African universities and associated research and support institutions to one another and the rest of the world. We provide these beneficiaries with an uncontended, unshaped, fast Internet service that is separate from the general-purpose Internet, at speeds of up to 100Gbps.
  • Local Internet Registry: We allocate and assign both IPv4 and/or IPv6 address space to beneficiaries for use over the SA NREN network.
  • eduVPN: Our pilot eduVPN secure Internet access service offers staff, researchers and students an easy and secure connection to the Internet wherever they are.
  • Open exchange points: Our open exchange point service allows local researchers to participate in global research. 

Security Services

  • CSIRT: The Computer Security Incident Response (CSIRT) service is offered in partnership with the SANReN competency area, to prevent and respond to IT security incidents. The SA NREN CSIRT is a member of Trusted Introducer and FIRST.Org.

Trust & Identity Services

  • eduroam: eduroam (education roaming) is the secure, world-wide roaming access service developed for the international research and education community. It allows students, researchers and staff from participating institutions to obtain Internet connectivity across campus and when visiting other participating institutions by simply opening their laptops.
  • SAFIRE: The South African Identity Federation allows staff, students and researchers from participating institutions to log into web-based services using their home institution's credentials. SAFIRE participates in the global eduGAIN inter-federation, gaining access to over 2500 services around the world.
  • ORCID: TENET operates a South African ORCID Consortium, allowing beneficiary institutions to realise cost savings in their ORCID membership and gain access to local support.
  • SA NREN Certificate Service: this service allows beneficiary institutions access to organisationally validated SSL, wildcard, unified communications, personal (S/MIME), and code-signing certificates backed by a commercial CA (currently Sectigo, which was formerly known as Comodo CA). More about the Certificate Service.

Cloud & Brokerage Services


The Service Development Challenge

TENET’s focus during its first fifteen years was on the challenge of securing ever more Internet bandwidth for our beneficiary institutions at ever better unit prices. Highly affordable bandwidth in large volumes remains a key objective. However, the substantive deregulation of telecommunications in South Africa means that bandwidth will become a commodity, and the unique value that TENET and SANReN can offer in future will depend less and less on securing compelling price advantages and rather on the provision of specialised, targeted value-added services that universities and research institutions require. TENET's growing portfolio of value-added services has been a primary response to this challenge. TENET aims to be uniquely attuned to the industry and its beneficiary institutions to constantly augment its specialised digital service offerings on an ongoing basis.