HeroTel gains access to licensed spectrum through acquisition of VO Connect

HeroTel has announced the acquisition of VO Connect, subject to regulatory approval.

VO Connect is a leading connectivity service provider, that offers enterprise solutions to medium and large businesses across South Africa. Founded in 1995, VO Connect draws on over two decades of experience in working with channel partners.

Hero Telecoms (HeroTel) is a national connectivity provider, that owns and operates fibre networks and Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs) across South Africa.

“This deal represents an exciting new step for HeroTel”, says HeroTel Chairman Alan Knott-Craig, in an exclusive interview with ITWeb. ”One of the historic challenges for WISPs is that they operate predominantly in the 5.8GHz/ISM band, which can get congested in densely populated areas. This meant that they lacked the tools to confidently service medium to large businesses, that demand high availability services. VO Connect operates in the licensed 10.5 GHz Point-to-Multipoint frequency, a benefit that it is now available to all the companies in the HeroTel group. Our vision is a world in which everyone is connected, especially those that are located in the more rural areas. Access to licensed spectrum is a major boost for us in attempting to achieve that goal.”

HeroTel CEO, Corné de Villiers commented: “What excites me most is that our WISPs will now be able to deliver guaranteed, SLA based services, to our business customers. Real-time corporate applications like voice and video require enterprise-grade last-mile connections. It’s something that our WISPs and their resellers have been wanting for years. Licensed spectrum allows us to now offer these services with confidence.”

“HeroTel provides VO Connect with access to over 400 towns, 1 000 employees and close to 2 000 high sites, all of which we can leverage to reach a new set of business customers’’, says Kevin Taskes, MD of VO Connect. ‘’We can now deploy our licensed spectrum into a wider geography, which will dramatically increase our coverage area. This is excellent news for our channel partners, who are increasingly looking for licensed connectivity in non-metro areas. We see enormous potential in the economies of scale that could be achieved and the synergies between the two businesses. We are delighted to become part of the HeroTel story”.

VO Connect is the 31st acquisition that HeroTel has completed and in line with its strategy to date, there are no planned changes to  management or staff at the company.

The HeroTel team said that they expect to make further acquisition announcements soon.

HeroTel now has more than 55,000 clients and an expanded coverage via its WISPs in the North West, Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, the Eastern Cape and surrounds, making it South Africa’s largest fixed wireless Internet service provider.