Dimension Data MEA today, 22 September 2014, announced that it is to launch a new company, WirelessCo (Pty Ltd), which will build and operate an open access carrier-grade WiFi network.
WirelessCo will be owned by Dimension Data (51%) and Multichoice (49%) respectively. The deal is subject to Competition Commission approval.
WirelessCo will be headquartered in Johannesburg and will combine the WiFi network assets of Dimension Data-owned WiFi provider AlwaysOn, together with the WiFi assets of MWEB WiFi. The AlwaysOn retail consumer business will continue to operate as a separate entity. Employees of MWEB WiFi, as well as AlwaysOn employees who manage the AlwaysOn network will be employed by WirelessCo.
“A ubiquitous WiFi network for South Africa, built by WirelessCo will be a step forward to a WiFi first service as a viable and cost effective alternative to traditional data communication in a mobile environment, enabling more South Africans with affordable internet access. This company is committed to making the necessary investments to ensure WiFi is available everywhere and to everyone, driving digital inclusion for all of the country,” says Derek Wilcocks, Dimension Data Middle East and Africa Chief Executive Officer.
“More and more businesses across almost all industry sectors are looking to extend or entrench their value proposition through digital strategies. We are excited to have the opportunity to build a platform that can connect these businesses to their customers,” says Francois Theron, MWEB Group Chief Executive Officer.