iWayAfrica Aiming to Provide High Powered Internet Connectivity

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says Kenneth Munyi, managing director at iWayAfrica

The company has also revamped its offering and is providing a range of services that go hand in hand with connectivity

In today’s fast changing world, internet has become an invaluable tool for societies around the globe. From simple online research to complex work in different fields, internet plays a major role.

In Africa, internet users are increasing by the day. With a penetration rate of 31.2 percent as of June 2017, the continent remains a region of interest for internet service providers. In Kenya, over 38 million people browse the internet every day. It is a move that has led to the growth and penetration of service providers in a bid to meet the growing demand. iWayAfrica is one such provider.

The company was formed as a result of the amalgamation of MWEB Africa, Africa Online and AFSAT in 2008, when MWEB Africa was purchased by Telkom South Africa. With presence in over 44 African countries, iWayAfrica is the leading internet service provider in the continent. It offers solutions under satellite, fibre optic and wireless networks. The company’s expertise lies in designing, installing and operating networks to meet the need of its customers.

With a client base of 67,000 corporate and over 20,000 consumer subscribers across Sub-Saharan Africa, iWayAfrica remains a top player in the industry.

Product Offering

The company offers a range of products including wireless broadband services to cater for the small and medium enterprises and corporate markets. “We provide corporate connectivity between offices using licensed or unlicensed microwave offering between 5Mbps and 400Mbs,” says Kenneth Munyi, managing director at iWayAfrica.”We also offer Backhaul transmission links for connecting the base stations of mobile operators and Point to Multi-Point Wireless Broadband – connectivity on LTE / WiMAX or other PtMP technologies to deliver broadband to end users or business,” he adds.

When it comes to VSAT Services, the company has created offerings for SMEs and Corporates – full sub-Saharan footprint to provide services in more than 44 countries in Africa. To seamlessly offer excellent service on this front, the company has formed strategic partnerships with leading satellite providers and satellite hardware vendors offering broad solutions.

iWayAfrica also offers outdoor  and indoor hotspot Wi-Fi for various applications and public places such as shopping malls, coffee shops, community centres Multi-tenant dwellings, office parks, campus environment and fully mobile environments for public transit, buses, trains, police and security among others.

In regards to secure connectivity using Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) for voice, data and video requirements, iWayAfrica provides a means to connect multiple branch offices across cities and countries on a secure MPLS connection using virtual private networks. Mr. Munyi says that is accomplished by utilizing local transit in each country and international transit across fibre submarine links to servers in multiple countries. It guarantees a seamless and secure connection across MPLS network. That is important, especially to organizations that have several branches with a central head office.

“With MPLS, we can connect your multi-national branch offices securely to the head office in the continent or any global location,” notes Mr. Munyi.

iWayAfrica also offers a variety of value added services including hosted web and email services on multiple platforms, such as MS Windows and Linux, hosted servers for email, data storage and applications co-located in iWay data centres in each country of operation, VoIP in specific territories and Cloud-based services. As part of the value addition services, the company provides full end-to-end managed servers such as email, firewall, security, data storage and support & maintenance.

Mr. Munyi offers, “Our solutions include all hardware and software for the SME markets with features such as Managed Hosted Services with round the clock support and client based server with cloud support provided, installed and supported by us.” Customers can choose from the following services or take the full package – Mail hosting, network security, virus protection, data storage and backup DR.

iWayAfrica also provides (Voice over Internet Protocol) VoIP service. It is offered through strategic partnerships agreements with the major mobile and fixed carriers on the continent, allowing international routing of calls at lower rates than traditional switched voice. “Multinational companies with branch offices on the continent can take advantage of our VoIP offering to reduce their costly voice burden, and be guaranteed the highest available quality.”

Recently, the company launched a new product named Jola. It is a flexible Ku-Band, managed satellite service for Sub-Saharan Africa. Jola is delivered out of a hub based in South Africa. It uses one of the latest technologies to provide broadband enterprise solutions to most parts of the continent. The company integrated with the Hughes Jupiter platform to offer a flexible, efficient and superior product to what is already available in the market.

Enhancing Connectivity

In addition to connectivity, iWayAfrica is revamping its wireless infrastructure by migrating to platforms that are LTE capable.

It is also focusing on Information Technology security, an important issue that has been ignored for a long time. “We are bringing on board a range of products to address the problem, to enable our customers to better protect their offering,” shares Mr. Munyi.

The managing director notes that the company plans to revamp its IT infrastructure, including building management solutions. “Most of the new buildings require structured cabling, since it acts as a platform for providing different solutions and services such as security, surveillance, internet access and telephoning services.”

Hurdles

Despite the speedy growth of the internet industry in the current time, players have to contend with challenges that come with it. Service providers, for instance, are facing stiff competition, making it important to differentiate their products to remain at the top. They also need to get and retain the right staff, with the level of expertise required to propel the companies to higher heights.

iWayAfrica has been able to navigate through such challenges through constant innovation. The company looks forward to achieve exponential growth in the African market.

Road Ahead

Going forward, iWayAfrica plans to provide consultancy services to help customers audit their networks by identifying areas of exposure. That will help the company provide the most ideal solutions to its customers.

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