Internet Solutions (IS), a division of Dimension Data, has signed an contract to buy the MWeb ISP core network assets, MWeb Business and Optinet from MWeb Connect. in buying the company, Dimesion Data will also have the WiFi assets of MWeb Connect. This will form part of the new company, WirelessCo, which will build and operate an open access carrier-grade WiFi network.
The acquisition will also mean that Dimension Data will have Optinet and MWeb Business, both of which will also be managed by IS. MWEB Business, Optinet and MWeb Connect engineering and support employees will transfer with the transaction to IS.
MWeb Connect will however be retaining its consumer ISP business. The transaction is yet to be approved by the Competition Tribunal (South Africa).
Derek Wilcocks, CEO of Dimension Data Middle East and Africa, says: “MWeb Business and Internet Solutions will be able to service this market segment more competitively and ensure that the ICT offerings for this sector are designed and supported in a way that is economically viable and, importantly, support them in operating and growing their business.
In terms of the WirelessCo announcement, this new company will be owned by Dimension Data (51%) and MultiChoice (49%) respectively. It 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 deal is subject to Competition Commission approval.
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.” said Wilcocks.