Africa’s carriers’ carrier, WIOCC is in the running for a hat-trick of awards at this year’s AfricaCom Awards, which will be announced in Cape Town on the 16th November.
An experienced panel of judges drawn from across the telecoms industry shortlisted WIOCC’s ‘Connecting and extending connectivity in Somalia’ entry for the Changing Lives Award, as well as its ‘WIOCC’s Johannesburg Metropolitan Area Network: overcoming the high cost of local loop delivery’ entry in the Best Connectivity Solution category, and also its ‘Further enhancing WIOCC’s unique pan-African network‘ entry for the Best Network Improvement Award.
“WIOCC continues to push the boundaries in order to meet the ever more complex requirements of Africa’s wholesale markets. It is always a pleasure to have our work recognised by independent third-parties, but for me the ultimate reward is to see customers coming back to us year after year for solutions to their evolving communications needs – including the provision of end-to-end network solutions to an ever-growing list of locations in Africa”, commented WIOCC CEO Chris Wood.
WIOCC’s Marketing and International Business Development Director, Mike Last, has been identified by Global Telecoms Business (GTB) magazine as one of the telecommunications industry’s “50 Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) to watch”.
Executives were nominated for inclusion by colleagues in their companies, by readers and by GTB staff after many discussions with senior executives throughout the industry. This is thought to be the first attempt to identify the industry’s 50 senior marketing professionals to watch.
Responsible for all external and internal marketing, Mike joined WIOCC as employee number two in 2008 and is one of only three1 executives from Africa-based companies in the 50-strong Global Telecoms Business magazine list. Since joining the company, his marketing insight and expertise have been instrumental in helping transform Africa’s carriers’ carrier into a successful, multiple award-winning international capacity and network services wholesaler, now widely recognised as the number one supplier of high-performance bandwidth solutions into and out of Africa.
As well as developing and implementing dynamic marketing strategies, Mike has built a local marketing team in Kenya that delivers world-class communications initiatives. He also works with WIOCC’s shareholders from across Africa to help build their marketing knowledge and expertise – particularly relating to wholesale markets.
1 The other two executives from Africa-based companies are Rita Okuthe (Safaricom) and Tom Tudor (Liquid Telecom).
WIOCC wins two awards for bringing direct, high-capacity, international connectivity to Somalia for the first time: helping transform life in the country and grow confidence in Somalia’s economic prospects
Best Connectivity Solutions for Africa Award recognises considerable improvement in rural, urban and under-served area’s connectivity
Best Network Improvement Award acknowledges significant improvement in a network’s performance or coverage
At the 7th Annual AfricaCom Awards in Cape Town (12 November), Africa’s carriers’ carrier WIOCC won the Best Network Improvement and Best Connectivity Solutions for Africa awards for bringing direct, high-capacity, international connectivity to Somalia for the first time.
According to WIOCC CEO Chris Wood, “These two awards recognise the work we have done to connect Somalia to the global telecommunications network. This initiative has taken six years to achieve and has faced innumerable and seemingly impossible hurdles to overcome. We persevered, never gave up and finally achieved our goal when the EASSy cable was landed in Mogadishu in late 2013.”
“We launched service in February this year and already the impact on the country has been immense. We can see from the rapid traffic growth that more and more people are being connected on a daily basis. This growth curve will accelerate over the coming months as access is extended further into Mogadishu and across the country. “
Through WIOCC, local internet service providers (ISPs) have been able to increase their international capacity and take advantage of improved options for reliability and diversity, and latency reductions of up to 80%. This speed difference has been described as “similar to the difference between day and night”, with the BBC reporting, “… people flocking to hotels and internet cafes to experience a fast service for the first time, where some got their first sight of video platforms such as YouTube and social networking sites”.
Experienced senior telecoms professional Rob Irvin joins Africa’s carriers’ carrier WIOCC in the new role of Director of Product.
Previously responsible for international network development at Tata Communications, Rob will focus on continuing to expand WIOCC’s product offering to its carrier customers, including extending its Ethernet and IP Transit service portfolios.
Commenting on the appointment, WIOCC CEO Chris Wood said: “We have created this new position because of the increasing demand we are seeing for bespoke, diversity-rich, high-speed connectivity solutions into and out of Africa. Rob’s wealth of technical, commercial and managerial expertise will be invaluable as we continue to evolve our capabilities to match this demand”.
The creation of this new role is the latest in a series of expansion initiatives undertaken by the capacity wholesaler, which continues to grow to meet the needs of its expanding and increasingly bandwidth-hungry international customer base. As well as making sizeable investments in submarine and terrestrial cable capacity to maintain its carrier-scale core network, in the past year WIOCC has also increased its workforce by 40 per cent and doubled the size of its Network Operations Centre in Nairobi – where its team of Customer Champions provide 24x7x365 end-to-end support to customers.