Vodacom, who holds a 10% stake in the fixed wireless provider Wireless Business Solutions (WBS), was recently quoted as saying that they are looking at obtaining management control in WBS, the iBurst holding company.
Vodacom’s CEO, Alan Knott-Craig, was quoted in the Financial Mail as saying that ‘he eventually wants management control of WBS’. But according to his son and Managing Director of iBurst, Alan Knott-Craig Jnr, this is ‘not going to happen’.
Knott-Craig Jnr was adamant that Vodacom would not gain management control of iBurst, but added that their recent partnership has helped the smaller wireless provider as they can now retail iBurst products in Vodacom shops.
Thami Mtshali, the CEO for iBurst, was not quite as convincing about keeping Vodacom’s stake in iBurst to under the 50% mark. According to Mtshali, “everything is for sale at the right price”, so perhaps all it will take is a more impressive offer from Vodacom.
It is common knowledge that iBurst’s WiMax spectrum is a major reason for Vodacom’s interest in the company, and with their fast growing customer base and aggressive network roll-out it is becoming a very attractive business in the local telecoms space.