Behind the Web Africa, IS ADSL deal

Web Africa recently announced that it will route its ADSL traffic via the Internet Solutions (IS) backbone, which means that the ISP will no longer manage its own proprietary IPC network. This deal was based on good business principles, IS and Web Africa said.

Web Africa’s move to Internet Solutions followed shortly after Afrihost moved its ADSL users to MTN’s network, sparking speculation that the Web Africa-Internet Solutions deal was partly related to Afrihost’s move.

However, Internet Solutions and Web Africa dismissed this speculation, explaining that the deal made business sense to both companies.

“Given the size of the IS Network, and our ability to scale as and when necessary, bringing on Web Africa in a controlled and phased approach was completely independent of any other moves either on to or off the IS Network,” said Tony Walt, chief solution and marketing officer at Internet Solutions.

Web Africa CEO Tim Wyatt-Gunning reiterated Walt’s view, saying that they are just applying the same principle to themselves that they always push at Telkom: “We should all concentrate on the areas in which we can more easily excel; with Telkom and the other large networks dealing with the raw materials whilst allowing the likes of Web Africa to specialize in providing service to customers,” said Wyatt-Gunning.

“Why compete vertically in a space which is already well supplied by behemoths who have 10 times more network than we do, to produce a product which we can strive to perfect anyway without reaching that far down the production chain?”

Wyatt-Gunning highlighted that their decision was based on the premise that the underlying backbone network has to be sound. “We believe IS has the best pedigree in the business,” said Wyatt-Gunning.

Tim Wyatt-Gunning
Tim Wyatt-Gunning

Walt said that the IS network architecture, multiple geographically diverse IPCs, international capacity and national capacity, are all closely monitored.

“This ensures that, over time, changes in traffic, either as a result of changes from existing clients or from new clients, are seamlessly accommodated,” said Walt.

“We always have and will continue to seek partners such as Web Africa in order to continue to grow the internet in South Africa. IS carries a massive amount of traffic; marginal upward and downward swings (relatively speaking) have minimal effect.”

Walt said that concluding any deal is based on mutual respect and trust, the undertaking with regards to the provision of quality services, and commercial viability for both parties.

“It was purely on this basis that IS and Web Africa have concluded our partnership,” said Walt.

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Behind the Web Africa, IS ADSL deal