Meeting the capacity demand challenge

“Eight years ago, a typical client requirement was for 155 Megabits per second; today, 100 Gigabits per second is not unusual”, says Chris Wood, CEO of leading capacity wholesaler WIOCC.

Increasing adoption of, and reliance upon, bandwidth-intensive applications by enterprise and domestic clients is driving capacity demand amongst operators – particularly those serving the banking and trading communities – content providers, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Wireless ISPs (WISPs), typically starting at 10Gbps, up to 100Gbps and beyond.

As well as delivery of the bandwidth itself, network latency, reliability and cost are all critical in the provision of connectivity. Achieving the required network scale, quality and reach demands a significant and sustained programme of investment in metropolitan, national and international infrastructure. For example, capacity wholesaler WIOCC has invested over US$300million in its unique network footprint, which is scaled to meet the ongoing capacity needs of even the most demanding of wholesale clients. The network comprises more than 55,000km of African terrestrial fibre linked seamlessly with capacity on multiple submarine cable systems, providing access to much of sub-Saharan African, including the ‘Golden Triangle’ of Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa.

Tailored service offerings for Africa

Addressing connectivity requirements in Africa can be complex, typically requiring interaction with multiple service providers. A simpler solution is to use an expert Africa supplier with the expertise and relationships to deliver end-to-end managed connectivity solutions – a single point of contact, one contract and one bill.

WIOCC is such an organization: a leading African carriers’ carrier focused on implementing tailored solutions for its wholesale client base. It is playing a key role in the arrival of international carriers, ISPs and over-the-top players into African markets, with these arrivals triggering a significant migration of content, principally from Europe to Africa, to improve service performance for consumers in Africa. With this has come the need for more localised services such as IP Transit, which provides ISPs with connectivity to global internet content.

WIOCC is also increasingly supporting client migration from legacy SDH networks to new-generation, high-capacity, low-delay Layer-0 Optical Transport Network (OTN) technologies and pure Ethernet at the Metro level, enabling seamless integration of international connectivity with extensive local presence.

Johannesburg/Pretoria Metro

With its 40-PoP Johannesburg/Pretoria Metro, extensive South African network and strategic investments in international submarine cables, WIOCC enables ISPs, WISPs and operators to address the needs of enterprise clients in Jo’burg and Pretoria seeking cost-effective, high-quality internet and point-to-point connectivity.

Download diagram below.

WIOCC Johannesburg/Pretoria metro diagram

WIOCC Appoints APTelecom as Channel Partner for commercialisation of Africa connectivity with a focus on clients in Asia and USA

Global Telecommunications Consulting and Service Company selected to support the continued commercialization of WIOCC’s network in Asia and the United States

Africa’s carriers’ carrier WIOCC, yesterday announced that it has engaged APTelecom, a facilities-based telecom consulting and service company specializing in emerging markets, as its International Sales partner for new client markets in Asia and the United States.

Eric Handa, CEO, APTelecom

“We are excited to be a part of such an important initiative in one of the world’s fastest-growing telecom markets, working within the WIOCC team to help extend their reach,” said Eric Handa, CEO of APTelecom.  “The demand for data continues to grow and this is especially true of Africa. Many of the world’s leading operators, OTTs and CDN players are seeking better ways to serve African markets and WIOCC is the logical choice as an African partner.”


WIOCC has a unique network which interconnects over 500 locations across more than 30 African countries by seamlessly linking a 55,000km pan-African terrestrial fibre-optic network with more than 40,000km of submarine cable assets, including EASSy, EIG and WACS.

Chris Wood, CEO, WIOCC

“APTelecom’s reach and expertise spans a wide range of emerging and established global markets and we are pleased to engage their services as an International Sales Partner,” commented Chris Wood, CEO of WIOCC.

“Africa is in the spotlight in the context of global growth as a key region of opportunity for the telecoms industry. APTelecom will assist us in promoting our capabilities in the key markets of Asia and the United States.”

WIOCC and APTelecom will be announcing updates in the coming weeks and months as their program gets underway                                                                         


Operating exclusively as a wholesaler, WIOCC is revolutionising the delivery of high-capacity connectivity between Africa and the rest of the world. It is widely recognised as Africa’s carriers’ carrier, offering a one-stop-shop, end-to-end service between more than 30 African countries and the world’s key global financial and commercial centres. WIOCC recognizes that organisations’ needs differ and tailors its solutions to suit the specific requirements of each customer. Its unique, flexible, bandwidth packages are designed to enable carriers, mobile operators, internet service providers (ISPs), OTTs and Content Providers to take full advantage of Africa’s rapidly developing markets for fixed and mobile broadband, international corporate networking and access to compelling content and applications.

WIOCC’s Network

About APTelecom

APTelecom is a leading telecom and fibre consulting company specializing in emerging markets. APTelecom combines superior customer service, cost-competitive telecom products, and deep experience across the submarine cable and fibre industry to help clients achieve intelligent sustainable growth. Among the company’s core offerings are submarine cable pre-sales, established system sales, due diligence telecom consulting, cloud-based solutions and security, and strategic fibre consulting services.

Based in the United States, APTelecom’s reach and expertise spans a wide range of emerging global markets, including Angola, Australia, Brazil, Cambodia, Indonesia, as well as in several other countries across Asia and Africa. The company has been sought after for commentary on emerging market trends and been featured by dozens of media outlets, including Wired MagazineTechTalkWall Street JournalFox Business NetworkReutersYahoo NewsFierce TelecomSubTel Forum, and Commsday International, among others. APTelecom differentiates itself through quality, integrity, and innovation across their entire suite of products and services.


For more information about WIOCC, please contact or visit

To learn more about APTelecom, please contact or visit                                                                                                                 

Epsilon and WIOCC Partner to Deliver On-Demand Connectivity from Africa to the Rest of the World

Epsilon, a privately owned global communications service provider, has partnered with Africa’s carriers’ carrier WIOCC to deploy its Infiny by Epsilon on-demand connectivity platform. The partnership provides WIOCC with on-demand connectivity to major global financial and communications hubs. WIOCC customers are able to access to Epsilon’s 90+ PoPs globally and direct connectivity to world-leading Cloud and Internet Exchange providers. It is the first deployment of Infiny by Epsilon in southern Africa.

The partnership supports the growing adoption of Cloud-based applications and services across the continent. It enables African service providers to seamlessly connect from South Africa to global communications hubs and peering points.

Jerzy Szlosarek, CEO Epsilon

“WIOCC is a unique organisation and we are proud to be supporting it as it delivers on-demand connectivity across Africa. Its customers and end users will benefit from faster access to content and the Cloud as well as optimised application performance,” said Jerzy Szlosarek, CEO at Epsilon. “We are serving truly global demand for on-demand connectivity. Our Global Interconnect Fabric has been developed over the last 15 years to provide consistent Quality of Service and Experience no matter where our partners are located.

”Jointly owned by 14 major African telecoms operators, WIOCC’s shareholder and partner networks interconnect over 500 locations across more than 30 African countries using a 55,000km terrestrial fibre-optic network. WIOCC connects its customers to key financial and commercial centres in Africa and around the world.

Chris Wood, CEO WIOCC

“Partnering with Epsilon further expands our capabilities and provides our customers with rapid and flexible access to global hubs. Epsilon’s Infiny platform makes it simple to connect and grow our presence globally and improves our customers’ ability to quickly roll out new applications and services,” said Chris Wood, CEO at WIOCC. “The African market wants network services that can support the Cloud, matching the speed and accessibility of other ICT solutions. Infiny helps us to deliver Cloud-centric networking to our African customers.”

The Infiny platform enables partners to rapidly provision a suite of on-demand connectivity services via a web-based portal, APIs and iOS or Android mobile apps. It makes procuring and managing global connectivity simple with 24/7 access to services via its intuitive web portal or APIs.

Infiny by Epsilon users can choose from a range of services from port-to-port, port-to-Cloud, port-to-Internet Exchange, SIP Trunking and Inbound services, last mile DIA and SD-WAN services. It is supported with bespoke intelligent networking technology that enables it to offer guaranteed Quality of Service (QoS) and Experience (QoE), end-to-end and around the world.

For more information about Epsilon, please visit:

For more information about WIOCC, please contact  or visit:

A day in the life of James Wekesa, Chief Commercial Officer at WIOCC

James Wekesa is a deal maker. As the chief commercial officer at Africa’s carriers’ carrier WIOCC, Wekesa has an interesting and varied job which includes managing strong, mutually beneficial relationships with WIOCC’s 14 African shareholders.

These shareholders are made up from a mix of incumbent fixed-line operators, mobile challengers, wholesalers and even a regulator, some of which are submarine cable landing station owners, others being landlocked and dependent on cross-border arrangements for access to international connectivity.

These strong relationships are a key element in WIOCC’s ability to provide its own customers with excellent service, enabling it to deliver their traffic seamlessly via a unique 55,000km pan-African terrestrial network.

WIOCC’s shareholders are also the company’s key channel to market in their respective domestic markets.

“Every day is different, but typically it is either a ‘Travel day’ or an ‘Office day’,” explains Wekesa.

“On a ‘Travel day’ I’ll be based at the offices of one of WIOCC’s shareholders, where I’ll work with them on service-related, provisioning, organisational structure, technical or administrative issues. I also help individual shareholders make deals with third parties, including other WIOCC shareholders!”

On an “Office day”, Wekesa will work from WIOCC’s main office in Nairobi and could be involved in a wide variety of things: “from interfacing with specific internal teams on finance and provisioning issues, for example, to having strategy-related discussions with WIOCC’s CEO, liaising with assorted regulators and government departments across Africa, or on a weekly round-up call with one of the shareholders”.

Wekesa’s career has spanned over 15 years and he joined WIOCC in 2009 from the Afsat Communication Group where he was general manager for Kenya and group head of special projects amongst other positions.

Away from WIOCC, Wekesa keeps himself very busy by keeping fit with gym sessions five days a week and providing homework support for his two boys – who eagerly look forward to their regular ‘Friday night is pizza night’ outings.

Away from the family, Wekesa makes time to provide valuable support to a school some 400km outside of Nairobi.


CEO Chris Wood believes WIOCC’s achievements in the fast-paced global telecoms industry are due to its agility and quick decision-making processes.
The West Indian Ocean Cable Company (WIOCC) delivers internet connectivity to more than 550 locations across 30 African countries and to many more countries globally. It utilises more than 50 000 km of terrestrial fibre and at least 60 000 km of submarine fibre-optic cable to deliver capacity to some of Africa’s leading telcos and internet service providers (ISPs), as well as to global carriers, over-the-top (OTT) players and content providers operating in Africa. No wonder, then, that WIOCC CEO Chris Wood has been named among the Global Telecoms Business Power 100 for the past six years in a row.

Not that he’s paying too much attention to the label. ‘I take it with a pinch of salt, to be honest,’ he says. ‘Obviously, it’s nice to be on such a list, but in my mind, it’s more about recognising the value that the whole WIOCC team has created over the years. It’s recog­­nition of the company’s success, which is down to a lot more than just me as the CEO.’

‘When we decide to do something, we do it very
quickly. That’s enabled us to keep pace with the
change. If you spend too long trying to make
decisions, you can get left behind’

Still, there’s no denying the key role Wood has played in leading WIOCC since start-up in 2008, building the capacity wholesaler into Africa’s premier supplier of seamless, end-to-end managed service solutions outside and within the continent. WIOCC’s growth has tracked the phenomenal expansion – and the series of disruptive innovations and changes – in the global telecoms industry.

The secret to keeping ahead of those changes? It’s simple, says Wood. ‘Hire the right people. If you get the right people and you let them do their jobs, a lot of it looks after itself. Yes, there is a lot of change, but as a leader part of my job is to spot the trends, keep ahead of the curve, and make sure that we position the company to be able to adapt to the change.’

Here Wood points to WIOCC’s agility and speed of implementation as two of the factors behind its success. ‘Fast decision-making is key to working in a changing market,’ he says. ‘When we decide to do something, we do it very quickly. That’s enabled us to keep pace with the change. If you spend too long trying to make decisions, you can get yourself in a position where you’re left behind.’

WIOCC is jointly owned by 14 major African telcos, all of which are leading operators in their respective markets – from Uganda Telecom and Telkom Kenya to Tanzania’s Zantel, Libya’s LPTIC and Bots­­wana’s BoFiNet. So how does Wood as CEO manage all the various – and, in some cases, competing – interests?

‘The telecoms industry is actually a pretty incestuous business,’ he says. ‘Everybody is your customer, shareholder, competitor, partner, supplier… Over the years you get to know how to work in that kind of environment. It’s a very collaborative industry in many ways.

‘Our biggest competitors are sometimes both our partners and our suppliers, so you have to work with everybody. You can’t work in isolation and think you’re going to build it all. You’re always going to need to have partnerships.’

Regarding the 14 telcos that make up the WIOCC board, Wood says: ‘They’re all very different. We have a range of government-owned telcos, privately-owned telcos, global telcos and pan-African telcos, all sitting in the same room. Sometimes it is a challenge to get everybody moving in the same direction, but to their credit, over the past nine years I can only remember a couple of times when there’s been real disagreement in the board. Generally, it’s a very productive and well-run boardroom, and everybody works together to deliver the success that WIOCC has achieved.’

When the company launched in 2008, there were about 51 million internet users in Africa. Today there are more than 353 million – an explosion in internet penetration that has forced Africa’s telcos and ISPs to keep pace with massive changes. ‘But the market in Africa doesn’t exist in a vacuum,’ says Wood.

‘It exists within the global ICT market. To an extent, African development has followed similar paths to other parts of the world that enjoyed high connectivity rates much earlier than we did. Over the next few years, the volumes that we see will be orders of magnitude greater than they are today. I think we’re really only scratching the surface at the moment in terms of capacity utilisation.’

Wood predicts huge increases in volumes of African internet traffic in the coming year, and a shift from many smaller users to a concentration of big OTT content players. ‘In recent months and years, we’ve seen the likes of Google, Microsoft, Netflix, Amazon and Facebook all coming to Africa, and I think they will be driving the growth in the next few years, rather than small companies,’ he says.

‘As a company that focuses on delivering carrier-scale supporting infrastructure, WIOCC is well placed to work with these bigger players. It’s another exciting chapter in the development of African infrastructure.’


WIOCC CEO Chris Wood: one of the 100 most powerful people in global telecoms

For the seventh consecutive year, Chris Wood, CEO of Africa’s carriers’ carrier WIOCC, has been named as one of the 100 most powerful people in the global telecommunications industry.

Inspirational leadership

Named within the Subsea & Data Centres section of this year’s GTB Power 100, Chris was acclaimed for his inspirational leadership, for his commitment to making an enduring contribution to African communications, and for being central to the transformation of Africa’s connectivity landscape – helping drive demand for network/service improvement initiatives that are bringing the benefits of the internet to an ever-greater number of people in ever-more countries.

Chris has led WIOCC since its formation in 2008, swiftly building it into the leading supplier of seamless, end-to-end managed service solutions into, out of and within Africa. He continues to invest in enhancing the reach, quality and diversity of WIOCC’s unique network, which currently offers customers seamless direct connectivity to over 550 locations across 30 African countries, and many more countries globally, through 55,000km of terrestrial fibre and more than 60,000km of submarine cable.

Chris also co-Chairs the EASSy Management Committee and is a leader in the submarine cable system’s deployment, extension and incremental capacity upgrades.

 The 2017 GTB Power 100 – – is compiled from nominations made by readers of Global Telecoms Business, including CEOs, CFOs and other senior executives of the world’s major operators, telecom vendors and industry organisations.


NOT competing for Enterprise business (shock!)

Business parks and shopping malls across South Africa are firmly on the commercial radar of small to mid-sized Internet Service Providers (ISPs), wireless ISPs (WISPs) and operators because most enterprises in these areas want reliable, cost-effective direct access to the global internet.

WIOCC, which created the Johannesburg Metro Fibre Internet Access (MFIA) network, has reconfirmed its wholesale approach and will not compete directly for this end-user business. Instead, WIOCC remains firmly focused on enabling such suppliers to target enterprise customers and prospects with ever-more competitive solutions.

WIOCC COO Ryan Sher explained: “As a committed wholesaler, WIOCC is dedicated to supporting its ISP and WISP customers in targeting this important channel. We are looking to work with more of these types of businesses, offering them the ability to develop competitive, easily-scalable, high-performance solutions for the enterprise market”.

WIOCC’s Johannesburg MFIA includes more than 40 PoPs (Points of Presence) and provides direct access, over a fully redundant network, to more than 2,000 business customers’ premises across 95 business parks and numerous shopping malls in Johannesburg and Pretoria.

A key factor for enterprises in their choice of connectivity provider is the level of uptime they can expect. Providers offering a solution that’s underpinned by WIOCC’s unique, diversity-rich, high-redundancy network – incorporating 55,000km of terrestrial fibre in Africa and more than 60,000km of submarine cable – are extremely well positioned to offer excellent service levels.

…and as WIOCC has invested in building its own extremely scalable, high-capacity domestic and international network, it is also able to offer ISPs, WISPs and operators very competitive prices for carrying traffic.

Owning the network makes it easy for WIOCC to deliver scalable and flexible solutions, which can be of great value, particularly to enterprise customers operating in dynamic markets and environments.

With its new Jo’burg Metro and extensive South African network, WIOCC is now offering partnership opportunities to South African ISPs, WISPs and operators looking to profit from the growing number of enterprises seeking cost-effective, high-quality internet connectivity.

Article published in partnership with Mybroadband

The Capacity Market In Africa: The Impact of OTT Players And The Evolving Connectivity Landscape

Mike Last, Chief Marketing Officer and VP, International Business Development at Africa’s Carriers’ Carrier article featured on   Submarine Telecoms Forum speaking about the capacity market in Africa, and the impact of OTT players on the connectivity landscape, in their latest issue (#94).

Topics to read are herewith mentioned below: 

  • Africa: A continent of growing opportunities
  • Meeting the ultra – high demand of OTTs
  • Increasing Africa’s submarine cable capacity and diversity
  • End-to-end services bring wholesaler customers closer to their own customers
  • The largest metropolitan area network in Africa

For detailed information read here.


WIOCC’s support for Kenya Wildlife Service – Lion conservation in Kenya

Africa’s carriers’ carrier WIOCC is extending its support to African lions by donating 500,000 Kenyan Shillings-worth (equivalent to $4,860 US Dollars) of much-needed drugs and consumables to the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS). These are for use in veterinary interventions, including the safe immobilisation of lions prior to medical examinations or surgical procedures, or when lions require relocation back to areas of safety.

For many years, African wildlife has been dear to the heart of Chris Wood, CEO of Africa’s carriers’ carrier WIOCC, which has its main office in Nairobi, Kenya.

After the sad killing of Mohawk – a majestic, 13-year-old lion with a distinctive black mane that strayed away from the Nairobi National Park in late March 2016 and was shot dead before a suitably-equipped veterinary team could reach him – Chris began raising funds for the KWS through multiple activities and initiatives, starting at a global telecommunications industry event in Chicago that May.

Mr Wood explains: “Following this initial support, I wanted to see how WIOCC could partner with KWS moving forward. Out of this came the donation of additional anaesthetic drugs and medical consumables for use by veterinarians during wildlife rescues. The hope is that this will help prevent similar tragedies from occurring in the future”.

In a joint statement, Dr Isaac Lekolool, Senior Veterinary Officer at KWS, and Idza Dzilla, from the KWS Resource Mobilization Office, explained the difference this partnership with WIOCC will make: “Lions are beautiful but vulnerable animals and we are committed to helping protect and conserve them. The anesthetic drugs that WIOCC has so generously donated will help us carry out vital veterinary procedures on these wonderful and endangered animals“.