Ariel Goldberg
Ariel Goldberg

Winston the pigeon is going into the telecom business

On Wednesday September 9 a new type of telecommunications carrier will be making its debut in the South African market. His name is Winston. He’s a pigeon.

Winston will be flying from Howick to Durban in a test to see if he can oust Telkom as the telecommunications supplier to The Unlimited Group. A 4Gb memory card will be strapped to his leg and all indications are that this will be a much faster means of transferring data than the current ADSL line the company is using.

The Unlimited Group is a financial services provider with 11 satellite call centres around the province and every day they need to upload hundreds of mega bytes of voice logs to their central database for QA and legal purposes. Due to the poor quality and inconsistency of the lines, the transfer times can be frustratingly long. A recent upload took more than two days to transfer 4Gb. Winston should be able to accomplish the same feat in about 45 minutes.

Winston’s mother, a Mrs Churchill, has said she “always knew her son would accomplish something eggceptional”. If he manages to get the South African broadband revolution “off the ground” it will indeed be something miraculous. Unfortunately not the type of miraculous we’re all hoping for.

  • Brett Nortje

    All the attention Winston is getting, and no-one thinks to post his pedigree! Is he a Churchill Putterie? Is that where the joke about his mother comes from? Was Winston bred for the short- or middle-distances?

  • G

    Brilliant! 😀

    Go Winston!

    (Hmmm, Winston. Flies good like a pidgeon should. Is that a stab at ambush marketing in the Tobacco industry?)

  • Pingback: Twitter Trackbacks for Thought Leader » Ariel Goldberg » Winston the pigeon is going into the telecom business [] on

  • Lynne

    My money’s on the bird….

  • Mark Kerruish

    “I am not following you” says Dithabana. I, however, am, with great amusement.

    I’ll be certain to read your blogs in future. An engineer with insight into the soul of the Onion or Hayibo… whoever would have thought?

  • Crimson Orguss

    Winston you legend

  • Good Charlie

    Go Winston!!!

  • gumrol

    Go Winston, I’m sure you can beat Hellkom. I’m keen to get an office pigeon to deliver my email.


  • Henri

    Hilarious take on the already hilarious situation….my money is on Winston!!!

  • mark

    forget broadband. Viva Birdband. Sorry I couldn’t just leave it alone.

  • Rod Studley

    Pigeons, faster than Telkom and tastier too!

  • Ariel

    hahaha! Birdband! Nice… i should have thought of that :-)

  • sid

    Ha, go Winston. Will the ANCYL be there to welcome you and will you be subjected to a gender test? Whatever you do don’t apply for asylum!

  • Kit

    aw, where did Dithabana go?

  • Rich

    This is a complete joke. Is anyone questioning how big 4 Gigs is and the fact that on the best broadband in the world the pigeon would still have won. On a 3 MB/s line it would take between 24 and 48 hours. Telkom should sue for defamation…

  • Ariel

    Hi Rich
    Consider this, 45 min (Winston’s time) is 2700 seconds… to download 4Gb in this time would require a connection with a average of 1.48Mb/s
    This is not an unreasonable requirement, especially considering the average user in South Korea is downloading at an average of 21.26Mbps… Winston would be smoked turkey in most other countries
    See this site if you don’t believe me

  • Ariel

    I think this is a pretty good response from Telkom