Vumatel and DFA, South Africa’s two largest privately-owned fibre infrastructure providers, have shown the potential for significant long-term growth.
This is according to RMB business development director Jessica Spira.
RMB is a co-funder in a R16-billion senior debt financing package provided to CIVH in December 2019 – the owner of both Vumatel and DFA – to help fund the expansion of these companies.
“Funders don’t put that kind of money into a business unless it has solid, long-term growth potential,” said Spira.
“The R16-billion transaction is one of the largest of its kind in recent South African corporate history.”
According to Spira, there has been “explosive” growth in the fibre market in recent years, which she said is driven by the massive demand for data services and video streaming.
Combined, Vumatel and DFA boast a 29,300 km fibre network that passes 690,000 premises and connects 11,500 mobile base stations and 240,000 homes and businesses.
“Just like the cellphone, fibre is becoming a mass-market product that is connecting millions of South Africans and giving them reliable, affordable access to broadband internet at home,” said Spira.
“Demand for movie-streaming services such as Netflix and Showmax is a major driver, and this is even more amplified by the latest needs to work and learn from home.”
According to Spira, nearly 300,000 companies are already connected to fibre networks in South Africa.
Vumatel and SADV merge
Vumatel and SA Digital Villages (SADV) recently merged, with SADV’s wholesale fibre network assets being transferred to Vumatel.
“We have been working on the transfer since late 2019, with the view to ensuring as smooth a transition as possible,” said Vumatel CEO Dietlof Mare.
“We are excited about what this unlocks for the country – better, more far-reaching fibre connectivity that leverages the very best that both companies can offer.”
The SADV ISP brand remains as a standalone entity within the CIVH group.