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Flexible wholesale models key to driving down SA connectivity costs

Flexible wholesale models key to driving down SA connectivity costs

Having flexible pricing from wholesale providers for Internet connectivity is paramount for a successful ISP, and the choice of wholesale provider determines market competitiveness. This is the view of Jaco Maree, co-founder and director of WIRUlink, a licensed telecommunications service provider specialising in the small to medium business market and home users.

Maree, who started WIRUlink with his brother and co-director, Riaan, nearly seven years ago, was commenting on the company's choice of wholesale provider, Workonline Communications. "Our business strategy is to offer the best options available for speed, reliability and cost. Those three factors are the core anchors to our business and we needed to find a company that could provide us with the network infrastructure and reliability we demand for our clients, at a price that would make business sense," says Maree.

WIRUlink has extensive network coverage in the greater Gauteng and North West provinces of South Africa, with other provinces in planning phases. It has expanded rapidly by building and deploying new towers and high sites, with 45 active high sites, and more being added every month.

"We approached Workonline Communications because we heard they shared our approach of innovation for affordability in the market. They are geared for the ISP market in that they only focus on wholesale – so their core business is to find business models that would support niche operations like ours, where margins are key and the market is extremely competitive. The reliability of our network defines our business – our customers cannot afford to be offline and rightfully demand the best – from speed to reliability to affordability.

"Firstly, Workonline Communications core network is extensive, fast and secure. Their network is heavily peered both in South Africa and abroad and they therefore offer multiple routes, which is critical in our business model where redundancy and optimal routing is important. Wherever possible, we build a ring network infrastructure so that traffic can be automatically rerouted via an alternative route if necessary. Apart from their extensive network infrastructure, Workonline Communications offers second-to-none third tier support through their highly skilled network engineers, allowing us to be the first port of call for end-user support and ensuring we have the backup we need when we need it."

Maree comments that Workonline Communications is unlike the larger service providers in that the executives are hands-on and in direct contact with their clients, both from a commercial and technical point of view.

"The proactive involvement from the Workonline executive team creates the innovation we need in the market. Their experience and relationship approach has brought about price-relevant models which support our core drive for speed, reliability and affordability," adds Maree.

Workonline Communications has grown rapidly since its inception nine years ago, and now operates multiple points of presence (POPs) throughout sub-Saharan Africa and Europe. The company prides itself on the stability, resilience and redundancy provisions of its network, which it operates according to the highest standards. The Workonline network, along with the reach of its international partners, enables the company to offer high quality IP transit services as well as Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) connectivity with quality of service (QOS) guarantees to almost any location in the world.

"Innovation and agility remain at the core of Workonline's business," comments Edward Lawrence, director of business development at Workonline Communications. Workonline's goal is to provide clients with innovative and cost-effective solutions on a global scale, while maintaining the highest standards of design, build and deployment.

"Designing innovative commercial and technical solutions like that provided to WIRUlink has given us the edge and led to our healthy growth over the past nine years. We always want to be large enough to ensure consistent reliability and innovation, yet small enough to adapt to specific market requirements," he concludes.

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