Saturday, November 19, 2011

South Africa's Internet Solutions Increases its African Footprint

South Africa's ISP Internet Soutions is expanding its operations in Africa beyond its home turf of South Africa by establishing a new subsidiary IS International to handle its overseas operations. IS is a wholly owned subsidiary of Dimension Data based in Africa and the Midde East and was the first commercial ISP in South Africa.

In October this year, Dimension Data increased its shareholding in IS Kenya from 52% to 80%. IS initially acquired a 51% stake in local Kenyan service provider iConnect in 2005, which was rebranded IS Kenya. IS sees East Africa as a strategic market as the region is experiencing a boom in internet connectivity. This is largely due to the increased international bandwidth capacity in the region supplied via the numerous undersea cable systems, of which IS has secured substantial capacity on. These include; Seacom, EASSy and Teams. There is also massive investment being made into fixed line and wireless infrastructure in the region bringing more users online and driving the demand for data services.

The new unit, IS International, will provide significant additional support and investment to the group’s existing operations in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and Mozambique. With pan-African expansion in mind, the information and communications technology company also plans to establish further sales and operational presences in the largely untapped markets of Angola, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi.

To fully harness the business opportunities in Africa, IS will augment its existing London office by opening new sales offices in North America and Australia, with offices to be opened in other selected countries over time. These sales offices will work with wholesale and multinational clients that are eager to expand into Africa and need a globally experienced and reliable ICT partner on the ground. The offices will also help African clients to expand their communications internationally thanks to the global presence of IS.

IS International will be established as a focused business unit responsible for executing on these initiatives. It will be led by Tony Walt, who will become MD of IS International from January 2012. Walt will report to Derek Wilcocks, the MD of IS.

Wilcocks says Tony Walt is the best person to head the group’s international expansion given his 15 years of experience in helping IS’ clients in South Africa with all their communications needs. “Tony understands that Africa is a tough market and needs sound resilient IT solutions,” Wilcocks said.

The new structure would give foreign companies a trusted and experienced partner able to provide all their communication needs across various African countries, Walt said. It would also be better equipped to help its existing African clients expand internationally through this new structure. “We are very excited to firm up our expansion plans into Africa and to ensure we help global companies to capitalise on the great business opportunities within our continent,” Walt said.

The country managers of the group’s existing operations in the UK, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya and Mozambique will report directly to Tony Walt in his new role as MD of IS International.

Courtesy IS Corporate Communications

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