Dimension Data and Internet Solutions have announced the acquisition of MWEB Business and the Wi-Fi assets of MWEB WiFI, and will be merging these with the AlwaysOn hotspot service in a company called WirelessCo.
Dimension Data MEA today announced that its subsidiary, Internet Solutions, had acquired MWEB Business, along with the Wi-Fi assets of MWEB WiFi, MWEB ISP’s core network assets and Optinet.
Dimension Data is to launch a new company, WirelessCo, which will build and operate an open access carrier-grade Wi-Fi network. WirelessCo will be owned by Dimension Data (51%) and Multichoice (49%). The deal is subject to Competition Commission approval.
WirelessCo will be headquartered in Johannesburg and will combine the Wi-Fi network assets of Dimension Data-owned Wi-Fi provider AlwaysOn, together with the Wi-Fi 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 Wi-Fi network for South Africa, built by WirelessCo will be a step forward to a ‘Wi-Fi 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,” says Derek Wilcocks, CEO, Dimension Data Middle East and Africa. “This company is committed to making the necessary investments to ensure Wi-Fi is available everywhere and to everyone, driving digital inclusion for all of the country”.
Francois Theron, CEO MWEB Group, says: “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.
MWEB Connect will retain its consumer ISP business. The MWEB WiFi business does not form part of this agreement.
Derek Hershaw, CEO of MWEB ISP, sent customers a letter today, assuring them it would be business as usual.
“Going forward, this deal will allow us to extract greater benefits and efficiencies by combining our underlying technology platforms with IS,” he wrote. “At the same time we will be able to focus more closely on our consumer ISP, and ensure that we continue to offer you the kinds of online products and services so essential to your everyday lives.
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