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.