Posts Tagged ‘submarine cable’

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

Alcatel-Lucent to upgrade EASSy submarine cable system along Africa’s eastern and southern coast

January 27, 2014

Upgrade to 10,000km subsea system linking South Africa to Sudan will further boost ultra-broadband capacity and strengthen onward connectivity between eastern & southern Africa and Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Paris, January 22, 2014 — Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) is to upgrade the EASSy submarine cable system, one of the largest and most modern systems serving Africa, with the deployment of the latest 100 gigabit-per-second (Gbit/s) technology.

Alcatel-Lucent‘s 100G technology will enable the system to ultimately carry capacity in excess of 10Tbit/s, further complementing its ability to carry high volumes of data capacity on the EASSy system, which runs 10,000km from South Africa to Sudan, in support of the continued explosion of data traffic in Africa. Alcatel-Lucent will leverage its unmatched experience of deployments around Africa to provide this upgrade within EASSy’s requested timeframe.

EASSy is owned and operated by a group of 17 African and international shareholders – all telecommunications operators and service providers. The system is implemented in a protected ring configuration linking eight countries from Sudan to South Africa, via Djibouti, Kenya, Tanzania, Madagascar, Comores and Mozambique. Landings are located in Port Sudan, Djibouti (Djibouti), Mombasa (Kenya), Dar Es Salaam (Tanzania), Moroni (Comores), Toliary (Madagascar), Maputo (Mozambique) and Mtunzini (South Africa). The system also addresses a wide range of international destinations through interconnection with multiple international submarine cable networks for diverse, seamless onward connectivity to Europe, the Americas, the Middle East and Asia.

Chris Wood, Chairman of the EASSy Management Committee said: “Since EASSy entered service in 2010, we have seen enormous growth in demand for capacity on the system, reflecting the service quality and reliability that we have been able to offer. This upgrade will add an additional 400Gbps of capacity throughout the system, using Alcatel-Lucent’s advanced coherent 100Gbit/s technology, and enables us to take a further step in offering our customers the ultra-broadband capacity needed for innovative services and applications.”

Philippe Dumont, President of Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks, said: “We are pleased to continue our cooperation with EASSy owners following the initial deployment and subsequent upgrades to higher speeds. With staged upgrades until now, this latest upgrade using our 100Gbit/s technology confirms Alcatel-Lucent as the leading innovation partner to address evolving connectivity needs over time whilst meeting the low-latency and the resilience requirements that our customers demand.”

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.”

James Wekesa speaks at Zimbabwe’s Broadband Forum 2013

May 10, 2013

James Wekesa, WIOCC CCO

Today, 10th May 2013, James Wekesa – WIOCC’s CCO and Martin Mutiiria – Director, Africa Sales will represent WIOCC at Zimbabwe’s first Broadband Forum being held in Sango Conference Centre, Cresta Lodge in Harare, Zimbabwe.

Mr. Wekesa will be among the six speakers tackling a variety of internet-related topics at the event. He will offer his expertise during his speaking slot titled ‘Opportunities availed by increased bandwidth capacity on the continent’ between 11:15 and 11:45am.

During his presentation session, James will review the commercial opportunities created by increased bandwidth capacity on the African continent and in Zimbabwe.

This first Broadband Forum aims to unlock the value locally in mass uptake of broadband internet access, providing a platform to unbox opportunities, track progress, zero in on the challenges and explore solutions on all broadband issues. It will be a day of presentation, discussion and networking with local and regional decision makers in the broadband industry.

To reach James or Martin at the Broadband Forum, please email them at or

WIOCC at ITW 2013

May 6, 2013

WIOCC will be present at the International Telecoms Week (ITW ’13) being held in the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Chicago, USA from 13th – 15th May, 2013.

Chris Wood – CEO, Ryan Sher – COO, Mike Last – Director, Marketing and International Business Development and Winnie Karisa – Marketing will represent WIOCC at the event.

Chris Wood will be participating in a panel discussion on Tuesday 14th May, 2013 at East Tower, Gold Level, Columbus CD conference room. Mr. Wood will offer his expertise and comments within the spotlight on Africa panel session titled ‘Driving data demand in Africa’. Some of the topics to be discussed on the panel include:
• Tracking the impact of subsea cable connectivity on nascent markets
– identifying markets with the largest data needs and growth projections
• Determining terrestrial infrastructure needs for quality, redundant and reliable services
– is there sufficient deployment of additional terrestrial infrastructure
– tracking IP growth vs. terrestrial network growth across the continent
– evaluating the opportunity represented by large markets like Libya and Ethiopia if liberalized
• Motivating in-region content development to create data demand
– how can service providers promote content creation and distribution to drive demand across their networks?
– when will Africa live up to its bandwidth promise?
• Driving mobile internet uptake and adoption
– cheaper handsets = more eyeballs?
– LTE timelines and viability
– which content and applicants will drive the proliferation of bandwidth?
• Establishing a roadmap to provoke the explosion

To arrange a meeting with the WIOCC team please contact Winnie Karisa at or

WIOCC at SubOptic 2013

April 23, 2013

WIOCC is attending the SubOptic 2013 conference from 22 – 25 April 2013, at the Paris Marriott Rive Gauche hotel in Paris, France.

WIOCC are represented at the event by John Sihra (Chairman) and Chris Wood (CEO). John Sihra will be presenting in a session on ‘Project Development and Implementation’ chaired by Pierre Trembla, OCI Vice Chairman. John’s presentation, which is scheduled for Tuesday 23rd April at 3:30 – 5:00pm, will discuss ‘The Success of the EASSy Consortium Model’.

To set up a meeting with the John Sihra or Chris Wood, please contact Winnie Karisa at or at

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.

James Wekesa to discuss market growth in West Africa

April 8, 2013

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 or

WIOCC wins Best Pan-African Initiative Award at Africa Com 2012

November 21, 2012

“The winner of the Best Pan-African category is charging ahead with the task of fusing African communication channels, and it could be giving a glimpse of the connected African map in 10 years’ time… The winner is WIOCC.”

Chris Wood receiving the award on behalf of WIOCC

WIOCC won the Best Pan-African Initiative Award at Africa Com 2012, for building an unrivalled, high-capacity network that seamlessly integrates more than 50,000km of African terrestrial fibre with 40,000km of international submarine cable – giving carriers diversity-rich, high-speed international connectivity to and from over 400 locations in 30 African countries.

The Best Pan-African Initiative Award recognises an initiative taken to improve telecommunications services at a regional or continental level across Africa, and was presented to WIOCC CEO Chris Wood at the Africa Com 2012 awards dinner – which took place in Cape Town, South Africa on 14th November.

After receiving the award, WIOCC CEO Chris Wood commented, “This award recognises WIOCC’s unique achievement in bringing together the networks of our 14 African telco shareholders and selected partners, together with strategic investments in submarine cables including EIG, WACS and EASSy, to create an unparalleled African network footprint and capability. It clearly demonstrates the power of working together in pursuit of a common goal, resulting in something far greater than the sum of its parts.

As well as serving Africa’s coastal regions, WIOCC’s network is increasingly enabling businesses and individuals in landlocked countries – such as Botswana, Burundi, Lesotho, Malawi, Uganda and Zimbabwe – to benefit from reliable and affordable international connectivity.

A high-resolution version of the photograph is available on request from

WIOCC CEO one of the 100 most powerful people in global telecommunications

October 3, 2012

Chris Wood, WIOCC CEO

Chris Wood, CEO of WIOCC, has been named as one of the 100 most powerful people in the global telecommunications industry.In the 5th annual GTB Power 100 listing, Global Telecoms Business magazine ranked Chris Wood at number 79 – making him one of only four executives from African businesses to appear in this list of the 100 most powerful people in the global telecommunications industry.

Chris led WIOCC’s development from initially being simply a single route (East African Submarine Cable System – EASSy) supplier of African connectivity, to its current position as the leading African wholesaler of reliable, affordable, high-speed, international connectivity into, out of and within Africa.

The publication cited Chris’s ‘vision for improving the affordability, reliability, reach and diversity of Africa’s international links – which saw WIOCC extend high-quality connectivity into many land-locked countries including Burundi, Lesotho, Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda and Zimbabwe’. 

He was also recognised for ‘creating the first high-capacity, low-latency connectivity ‘ring’ linking Africa’s coasts to Europe’ and for ‘spearheading WIOCC’s evolution into the leading player in Africa’s wholesale capacity market and the #1 supplier of end-to-end managed circuits into and out of Africa’.

WIOCC’s transformation was achieved as a result of a number of initiatives including strategic investments and partnerships which have given WIOCC a unique international network footprint that encompasses 40,000km of submarine fibre-optic cable and more than 50,000km of terrestrial fibre. This enables WIOCC to provide seamless, end-to-end managed service connectivity between 400+ locations in 30 African countries, 100 cities in 29 European countries and more than 700 cities in 70 countries globally.

By using this network, operators in emerging markets such as Botswana, Burundi, Lesotho, Malawi and Zimbabwe are now able to provide their business and consumer customers with faster, more reliable and significantly more affordable, high-speed international connectivity. For example, internet service prices in Lesotho fell by up to 67 per cent as a result of WIOCC delivering lower-cost internet connectivity into the country.

As well as leading WIOCC, Chris has been Chairman of EASSy since August 2011 and was instrumental in securing the January 2012 system upgrade that at the time made EASSy the largest provider of capacity into sub-Saharan Africa.


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