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Sam Ndungu named one of the top 50 CFOs in global telecommunications

February 24, 2014
Samuel Ndungu, WIOCC CFO

Samuel Ndungu, WIOCC CFO

Sam Ndungu, CFO of award-winning Africa’s carriers’ carrier WIOCC, has been named one of the global telecommunications industry’s top 50 CFOs to watch in 2014.

WIOCC CFO Sam Ndungu is one of only four Africa-based executives in the Global Telecoms Business magazine list, which named the top 50 global telecommunications industry CFOs to watch in 2014.

Responsible for WIOCC’s overall financial functions, Sam has been pivotal in managing the company’s continued growth and profitability since joining the business in 2009. WIOCC’s strong financial position has been achieved despite an increasingly competitive marketplace, and this has enabled significant, ongoing investments to be made to extend WIOCC’s infrastructure, increase its capacity, further strengthen its customer service and roll out new offerings.

A Certified Public Accountant and International Business Administration graduate, Sam has more than 15 years’ experience in auditing, banking and telecommunications. He is co-chairman of EASSy’s Finance and Administration sub-committee and also of the Investments and Agreements sub-committee.

See the full list on Page 46 of the January/February issue of Global Telecoms Business

WIOCC CCO James Wekesa on expert panel at Capacity Africa, Dar es Salaam

September 15, 2013

ImageOn 17th  September, James Wekesa, Chief Commercial Officer at Africa’s carriers’ carrier WIOCC, will take part in a broad-ranging discussion about connectivity infrastructure – from network development and integration, to diversity and service continuity – at Capacity Africa,  Dar es Salaam.

As CCO at WIOCC, with its unique, 50,000km pan-African terrestrial network, James is ideally placed to provide valuable insights into the importance of unifying national networks in multiple countries into a single, seamless network offering.

According to Mr Wekesa, “With diversity also set to be a key topic for discussion, there will be keen interest in WIOCC’s approach to providing carriers with cost-effective, international network diversity. WIOCC has made strategic investments in core terrestrial and submarine assets, which we supplement with additional capacity on other systems, all packaged into a seamless, one-stop-shop, end-to-end service offering.”

Other topical issues set to be covered within the panel session include:

  • Creating reliable terrestrial routes and building efficiency in the network
  • The challenges of keeping fibre networks up and running
  • Can governments intervene to help protect cable infrastructure?
  • Assessing developments in subsea
  • Integrating supplier diversity within connectivity strategies
  • How can integrated regional infrastructure be achieved?

Chris Wood on expert panel at Submarine Networks World

September 12, 2013

SONY DSCChris Wood, CEO of Africa’s carriers’ carrier WIOCC, will be an expert panellist in a discussion session about submarine cable projects in Africa and the Middle East on the final day (Thursday, 12 September) of Submarine Networks World in Singapore.

The discussion is expected to focus upon a broad cross-section of topical issues including:
• How much more international submarine capacity does Africa need, given the number of existing submarine cable landings and the technology-driven design capacity increases on existing cables?
• The importance of seamlessly linking submarine cable connectivity to an extensive terrestrial network, and putting in place infrastructure to enable origination and termination of traffic throughout the region
• Supporting customers’ growing need for physical diversity in their international networks and the benefits of a seamless one-stop-shop interface
As the CEO of the largest shareholder in the EASSy submarine cable, Chris will be able to provide valuable insights into how the EASSy cable has been able to support capacity growth throughout the eastern and southern Africa region. WIOCC is also now assisting multiple carrier customers in delivering high-speed connectivity out of western Africa.

“Network diversity and integrated access to terrestrial and submarine networks are two of the most common discussion points being raised by our customers at the moment,” said WIOCC CEO Chris Wood.

“I am looking forward to a lively discussion with my fellow panel members, and hope that this will help those in the audience who are developing and refining their capacity strategies for the continent.”

Meet WIOCC in September

September 10, 2013

This month, WIOCC will be attending Submarine Networks World Singapore and Capacity Africa in Dar es Salaam.

Between 10th and 12th September, Chris Wood (WIOCC CEO) and John Sihra (WIOCC Chairman) will be representing WIOCC at the Submarine Networks World Singapore event at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. They will be available for meetings throughout the event and  Chris will be participating in an expert panel session entitled “Middle East & Africa cable project showcase” on Thursday 12th September.

WIOCC are also Gold Sponsors of Capacity Africa 2013 – the meeting place for carriers active in African wholesale markets.

This event will take place on 17th and 18th September, 2013 at the Hyatt Regency in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. WIOCC will  sponsor a cocktail event on the first evening and James Wekesa (WIOCC’s CCO) will participate in a panel discussion, entitled “Building reliable infrastructure & capitalising on infrastructure efficiency”.  WIOCC’s events, sales and marketing teams - and WIOCC’s local shareholder, Zantel - will be available at the WIOCC booth (#5) throughout the event to answer your questions.

To arrange meetings with the WIOCC team at either event, please contact Winnie at Winnie.karisa@wiocc.net

DANTE and UbuntuNet Alliance award contract to WIOCC to provide connectivity services to Sub-Saharan Africa

May 28, 2013
WIOCC globe April 2013

WIOCC’s award-winning network

28 May 2013, Cambridge, UK: DANTE (Delivery of Advanced Network Technology to Europe) has awarded a 15 year contract to award-winning carrier WIOCC for connectivity services in Southern and Eastern Africa, kicking off a two year planning and procurement phase for the AfricaConnect project. In 2015, the contract will novate from DANTE to the UbuntuNet Alliance.

The connectivity procured under the AfricaConnect project complements the UbuntuNet network, a high-capacity network for research and education in Sub-Saharan Africa which creates a regional gateway for global research collaboration. Whilst the long-awaited internet backbone will improve the lives of millions of Africans through accelerated research and education, the connectivity will equally benefit collaborative scientific research the world over, in areas such as climate change, malaria, biodiversity and medicine.

Africa is a rich resource of intellect and genetic resources, as well as having the sort of large quiet spaces ideal for deep space research, and its increased involvement in global science is highly anticipated.

Detailed evaluation
A comprehensive procurement process began in October 2011. Ten organisations from Africa and Europe submitted tenders, and after a competitive negotiation process, the final shortlist comprised five potential suppliers.

Says Cathrin Stöver, Chief International Relations & Communication Officer, DANTE:
“We selected WIOCC for its excellent track record in delivering high-performance, end-to-end managed international connectivity services. The winning solution offered carefully tailored performance, reach, resilience and management, which matched the strict requirements set out in the Invitation to Tender for AfricaConnect.”

WIOCC will provide high-speed data transmission capacity between a set of Sub-Saharan Africa locations and Europe, along with housing space for UbuntuNet routing, switching and monitoring equipment.

WIOCC CEO Chris Wood adds:
“We are delighted to be partnering with DANTE and the UbuntuNet Alliance in delivering a shared vision of improved connectivity for the people of Africa, and here in particular for those involved in research and education in Southern and Eastern Africa.

“We will implement a bespoke solution based on WIOCC’s extensive African terrestrial and submarine infrastructure to deliver the cost-effective, resilient, high-capacity infrastructure required for this project. It is a real privilege to be chosen to support this initiative which will, I am sure, make an enduring contribution to the sharing of knowledge and educational resources within the region and with the global academic and research community.”

AfricaConnect governance and future plans
Funded by the European Commission and coordinated by DANTE, AfricaConnect is a collaborative partnership between Africa (represented by the UbuntuNet Alliance and its 14 member National Research and Education Networks, NRENs, as well as the Association of African Universities, AAU, and the West and Central African Research and Education Network, WACREN) and Europe – supported by 5 European NRENs (DFN – Germany; GARR – Italy; FCCN – Portugal; HEAnet – Ireland; SURFnet – Netherlands).

WIOCC continues African expansion with new staff appointments

April 22, 2013

Left to right: Darren Bedford, Martin Mutiiria and Jason Tutty

Left to right: Darren Bedford, Martin Mutiiria and Jason Tutty

WIOCC is further strengthening its presence in Africa by bringing in three experienced senior telecoms industry professionals: Darren Bedford, from PCCW (formerly Gateway Communications); Martin Mutiiria, from Nokia Siemens Networks; and Jason Tutty from Reliance Globalcom.

In their new roles, Director of Africa Business Development Darren Bedford, Martin Mutiiria, Director, Sales, Africa, and Network Planning and Operations Director Jason Tutty will help carriers, telcos, network operators and ISPs across the continent to exploit WIOCC’s unrivalled African network and end-to-end-managed wholesale connectivity.

Explaining the thinking behind these appointments, WIOCC CEO Chris Wood said: “We are seeing increasing demand from businesses for diversity-rich, high-speed international connectivity to and from Africa. We are expanding our business development and sales teams in Africa to meet this demand.“

“The skills, experience and contacts that Darren, Martin and Jason bring will be invaluable in helping new and existing customers benefit from WIOCC’s award-winning network, which seamlessly links 50,000km of African terrestrial fibre with multiple international submarine cables.”

Darren Bedford – WIOCC Director of Africa Business Development

As Director of Africa Business Development, Darren’s responsibilities include planning and implementing business development strategies and expanding WIOCC’s network coverage across the region.

Prior to joining WIOCC, Darren was Head of Terrestrial and Subsea Expansion at PCCW and was responsible for the expansion of Gateway’s African network. Before that, Darren was Commercial Director for Aerosat, South Africa’s first wireless internet start-up.

Martin Mutiiria – WIOCC Director, Sales, Africa

In this new role, Martin Mutiiria is responsible for growing WIOCC’s customer base through direct and indirect sales of products and services in Africa. As well as prospecting, customer acquisition and retention, customer relationship management of WIOCC’s 14 African telco shareholders will also be an important focus for Martin.

Martin was the Services Sales Manager for Bharti Africa Group at Nokia Siemens Networks before joining WIOCC, and was responsible for service solutions and sales across 16 African countries.

Jason Tutty – Network Planning and Operations Director

Jason has also taken on a new role, in which he is responsible for planning and managing resilient, end-to-end connectivity for WIOCC’s expanding number of carrier customers.

Formerly the Engineering and Operations Support Director at Reliance Globalcom, Jason brings with him a wealth of valuable telecoms industry experience spanning network operations, service and sales support, OSS/BSS development and network deployment. His last 12 years were spent in the submarine and global IP/MPLS industry.

WIOCC’s European cable repaired

April 19, 2013

Repairs to the submarine cable delivering most of WIOCC’s connectivity to Europe were completed on Wednesday April 17th and WIOCC customer traffic is currently being migrated back to its original routing.

During the outage, Africa’s carriers’ carrier WIOCC was able to provide restoration services to all customers requiring them.

“I am delighted that our cable has been repaired on schedule, enabling us to get customers’ services back to normal as early as possible” said Chris Wood, WIOCC’s CEO.

“I apologise to customers for the impact of these multiple cable cuts in the Mediterranean Sea, which have affected telcos and ISPs worldwide over the last month. WIOCC’s team has made a monumental effort over a sustained period of time, with our Service Delivery and Technical Support teams working 24×7 for almost two weeks to ensure that WIOCC’s customers were restored in the fastest possible time.”

James Wekesa to discuss market growth in West Africa

April 8, 2013
Image

James Wekesa, WIOCC CCO

Later this month, WIOCC CCO, James Wekesa, will be participating in a panel discussion at the West Africa Connect event in Dakar, Senegal.  Mr. Wekesa will offer expert insight and comments within the ‘building successful regional and international partnerships’ panel session entitled ‘Facilitating market growth through effective cooperation.’

During the session, which will take place on Wednesday 17th April, 2013, Mr. Wekesa will represent WIOCC – together with other industry experts – in discussing a range of significant topics including:

  • Evaluating the current status of market collaboration

- Co-operation between the West African markets

- Partnerships with international providers

  • International perspective: what are international carriers seeing as key growth drivers in the West African marketplace?
  • How are traffic patterns changing between West Africa and Europe vs. West Africa and the rest of the world and what impact is it having on your business?
  • What are the criteria for an effective co-operation?  Selecting the right partner to meet your business needs, building mutually beneficial partnerships
  • Implementing effective partnerships to facilitate market growth and capitalise on the growth potential of the West African wholesale market

WIOCC is at the forefront of delivering connectivity to/from West Africa including key markets such as Congo, Ghana, Namibia and Nigeria. Other countries expected to come on board soon in West Africa include DRC and Cameroon. WIOCC works closely with customers, developing flexible technical and commercial solutions including:

  • Seamless international connectivity
  • West Africa origination/termination at

- Customer site

- Carrier PoP

- Cable landing station

  • High levels of redundancy

- West & East coast diversity

  • Large capacity on WACS

- Meeting carrier-scale requirements

To arrange a meeting at this event with James Wekesa – CCO, Hitesh Desai – Country Manager (S. Africa) or Darren Bedford – Director, Africa Business Development please contact Winnie Karisa Winnie.karisa@wiocc.net or info@wiocc.net.

WIOCC Events Shedule 2013

March 21, 2013

WIOCC will be attending the following events during 2013:

March 19–21: Innovation Africa Digital Summit, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
March 18–20: Premier Annual Broadband Confex, Johannesburg, South Africa
April 16-17: West Africa Connect, Dakar, Senegal
April 22-25: SubOptic 2013, Paris, France
May 10: Zimbabwe’s 1st Broadband Forum, Harare, Zimbabwe
May 13–15: International Telecoms Week, Chicago, USA
May 21–22: East Africa Com, Nairobi, Kenya
May 28–29: Satcom Africa, Johannesburg, South Africa
May 28–29: Submarine Network World Africa, Johannesburg, South Africa
June: 11–12: Connecting West Africa Com, Dakar, Senegal
September 10–12: Submarine Networks World, Singapore
September 17–18: Capacity Africa, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
November 12–14: Africa Com, Cape Town, South Africa
November 18–20: Capacity Europe, Amsterdam, Netherlands

WIOCC will be represented at the various events by Chris Wood – CEO, Ryan Sher – COO, James Wekesa – CCO, Mike Last – Director of Marketing & International Business Development, Martin Mutiiria – Director, Sales Africa, Hitesh Desai – Country Manager (S. Africa), Marcel Bhatti – Sales Manager (S. Africa), Darren Bedford – Director, Africa Business Development, Gillian Koech – Marketing Assistant and Winnie Karisa – Marketing Assistant & PA to CEO.

To book a meeting with WIOCC at any of these events, please contact us at info@wiocc.net.

WIOCC CEO Chris Wood on a panel at Capacity Middle East

February 14, 2013

WIOCC CEO, Chris Wood, will be participating in a panel discussion on Tuesday 5th March, 2013 at the Capacity Middle East in Dubai.  Mr. Wood will provide expert insight and comment within the International connectivity panel session titled ‘Understanding capacity requirements and creating stronger international links.’

As capacity becomes more readily available into, within and out of African markets, the panel of industry experts will discuss a range of significant topics including:

1) Evaluate developing connectivity and capacity between the Middle East, Europe, Asia and Africa

  • promoting market competition with new route developments
  • anticipating the impact of 100G cables and upgrades

2) Understanding the capacity and connectivity needs of carriers inside and outside the region as well services offered

  • measuring increasing demand for connectivity between Middle East and East Africa

3) Terrestrial vs. subsea connectivity – which routes will see the greatest growth

  • subsea connectivity
  • new and planned cable rollouts and upgrades; ensuring resiliency to maintain connectivity
  • terrestrial connectivity: an update on planned alternative routes
  • predicting the benefit of alternative routes and understanding the challenges

4) Determining future prospects in Middle Eastern transit route development and potential changes in global connectivity

  • what is the business case for a new connection between Middle East and India
  • predicting which markets in Asia and Africa will experience the strongest growth

“African telecommunications markets in particular are undergoing fundamental and irreversible change,” said Chris Wood. “Competition is growing, new networks are being deployed and customer demand is escalating particularly for internet and other data-intensive applications. Consequently, carriers and internet service providers in these markets, or evaluating market entry, are increasingly dependent on their ability to source cost-effective and high-quality international connectivity services.”

 “I am looking forward to a lively discussion with my fellow panel members, and hope that this will help those in the audience who are evaluating and implementing solutions to deliver scalable, resilient and cost-effective international links.”


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