Pan-African telecommunications company and subsea fibre cable operator Seacom has launched Seacom Business, a new division that intends selling capacity across its infrastructure directly to corporate customers and small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
Seacom will sell directly into large corporate clients in South Africa (working with partners in some instances), and through partners to service the SME market.
The launch offering includes fibre Internet access with options ranging from 25Mbit/s up to 1Gbit/s, the company said at a press conference on Thursday.
Seacom, which has moved into new offices in Fourways in Johannesburg, said businesses can now buy services directly from Seacom and its business partners.
Last-mile fibre is a major focus for the company in the corporate market, it said. Initially, it aims to bring fibre to corporate customers in Kenya and South Africa. It has already launched 20 fibre precincts in South Africa and plans to roll out another 40 by the end of the year.
The company has appointed 20 business partners to support it as it expands its services to the business market. Previously, Seacom typically only sold capacity to large service providers, including telecommunications operators.
“In the past, Seacom focused on bringing low-cost data transmission infrastructure to other service providers in Africa. However, we were not seeing the optimal take-up of our international capabilities and the benefits that this can bring,” said CEO Byron Clatterbuck. As a result, he said, Seacom has decided to deliver services directly to corporate users.
Seacom Business head Grant Parker said the company intends offering businesses high-speed connectivity and quality bandwidth at an affordable cost. He said Seacom will address some top-tier clients through a direct sales strategy, but its intention is to address most of the business market in partnership with service providers. “Our operation will be lean and focused.”
Seacom first started offering access to large service providers on its US$500m subsea cable in 2009. The system extends from South Africa to Europe and Asia via a number of countries along Africa’s eastern seaboard.
Since then, it has invested in building an Internet protocol and multi-protocol label switching network across Africa. It has also acquired capacity on other African cables, including Teams and Eassy in the east and Wacs in the west.
Though the service provider segment remains Seacom’s biggest division by far, it expects Seacom Business to grow quickly in the coming years.
In South Africa, Seacom operates four points of presence. Three of these are in Teraco’s data centres in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban, while the fourth is at a Neotel data centre facility in Johannesburg.
It also operates terrestrial fibre in South Africa, with more than 200Gbit/s in capacity between Johannesburg and Cape Town, where it connects to the Wacs cable at Yzerfontein. It has shelved plans to build a subsea cable along South Africa’s coastline between KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape, saying terrestrial capacity is now sufficient to meet its needs. — (c) 2015 NewsCentral Media