Sub Tel Forum – January 2018: Thought-leadership article by WIOCC CEO Chris Wood, about how OTT players and Content Providers are shaping Africa’s evolving connectivity landscape.
To read the article please click here.
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.
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 –https://www.globaltelecomsbusiness.com/article/b14xj0qzzyc34x/gtb-announces-power100-for-2017 – 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.
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
Leading industry magazine Global Telecoms Business has named Mike Last, WIOCC’s Chief Marketing Officer & VP, International Business Development, as one of their 50 Strategists to Watch in global telecommunications.
Published in the magazine’s 150th issue, the list identifies ‘… those strategists that have hit the headlines in 2016 due to mergers and acquisitions, IPOs or (for) their vision’.
Mike worked closely with CEO, Chris Wood, on WIOCC’s original strategy eight years ago, and has continued to play a significant part in the maintenance and update of company strategy up to the present day. During this period his marketing expertise has also been influential in transforming WIOCC into an internationally recognised, multi-award-winning capacity and network services wholesaler, widely regarded as the #1 supplier of high-performance bandwidth solutions in Africa.
Chris Wood, CEO of WIOCC speaks to Capacity Media about demand challenges, point-to-point bandwidth and how it has created Africa’s largest metropolitan area network (MAN).
What are the main challenges of operating in the African market and how are you looking to tackle those challenges?
As Africa’s carriers’ carrier, WIOCC now transports almost half of all the traffic on the EASSy submarine cable and is the leading supplier of wholesale bandwidth for Africa. We see our main challenge as keeping ahead of the demand. Our market is evolving considerably in terms of what carriers and ISPs want: from pure point-to-point bandwidth in the early days; to point-to-point bandwidth with partial redundancy;and now they are increasingly looking for seamless protection and support for the more complex network solutions they are delivering for their customers into multiple countries in the region.
We have to stay relevant to our customers by providing the advanced connectivity solutions that this dynamic market demands. To do this WIOCC continues to invest in building its highly scalable and cost-effective core infrastructure, technology and human capital, as well as enhancing and extending its network and service capabilities.
What have been the highlights and key developments for your company in the region in the past year?
WIOCC continues to develop its seamless, end-to-end managed services capabilities to meet the evolving demands of Africa’s wholesale markets. The main highlight this year has been the creation of Africa’s largest metropolitan area network (MAN) in Johannesburg, S. Africa, which comprises three core PoPs and over 39 aggregation and customer-provided PoPs. Additional infrastructure investments that will further extend WIOCC’s national coverage are in the pipeline. The Johannesburg MAN offers carriers the opportunity to connect directly to hundreds of customer locations across the business districts of Johannesburg and Pretoria over WIOCC’s network and is expected to go live by the end of October.
Earlier in the year, WIOCC gave its customers enhanced access to the global internet, while also enhancing WIOCC’s network connectivity redundancy, by establishing new remote peering internet exchange points in Virginia, New York, Amsterdam and Frankfurt.
What are your strategic priorities as well as expansion plans for the region in 2017?
WIOCC’s mission is to make an enduring contribution to communications in Africa. Our focus moving forward is very much on continuing to invest in growing and extending our network and capabilities to help customers overcome complex connectivity challenges in Africa via seamless, end-to-end, managed connectivity solutions into, within and out of the continent.
What major trends do you see occurring in the African market this year and how do you plan to capitalise on those?
In the wholesale market, WIOCC expects to see continued demand for seamless connectivity to the internet in Europe (much of it protected via delivery on multiple cable systems), as well as growth in the provision of high-quality local IP Transit services.
In specific markets, the ability to cost-effectively terminate traffic directly to customer premises will become increasingly significant as a differentiator, as will the ability to meet customers’ demands for increasingly tailored, complex solutions. These are both areas in which WIOCC is continuing to invest.
What does your organisation hope to achieve by attending Capacity Africa 2016?
Capacity Africa is without doubt the leading event for the African wholesale telecoms industry, attracting very strong attendance from African and international carriers. We see Capacity Africa as a great environment for doing business, showcasing our capabilities and networking with existing and potential partners.