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.

HeroTel expands its Northern footprint with the acquisition of Radioactive in Hoedspruit, Limpopo.  

HeroTel is proud to announce the acquisition of Radioactive Telecommunications (Radioactive), a Hoedspruit based Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP), for an undisclosed amount. Radioactive provides reliable, high-speed wireless connections to the Lowveld community. Gideon Stander, founded the business in 2004, in response to the growing demand for internet services from the many game lodges and farms that surround the town. Radioactive also has a rapidly growing home user base.

“We are very excited that Gideon has decided to join the HeroTel group”, commented HeroTel Chairman Alan Knott-Craig, in an exclusive interview with ITWeb. “They are a prime example of a partner that strives to connect everyone, bringing the internet to great businesses, that are located in challenging areas to service. We now have a strong footprint in Mpumalanga and Limpopo.”

Radioactive expands HeroTel’s presence in Limpopo and will work closely with the Xpress Networks existing offices in Hoedspruit, Polokwane, Ellisras and Louis Trichardt.

HeroTel CEO, Corné de Villiers commented: “As we continue to move into exciting new areas across the country, we are seeing our vision of bringing affordable, high-quality internet to all South Africans coming to life. Radioactive allows us to deliver on our strategy of densifying our networks, in areas that we already have presence. Gideon is a well-respected operator in the industry and we look forward to seeing what he and his team will be able to achieve, in working closely with our existing businesses in Limpopo and Mpumalanga.’’

“Radioactive is proud to become part of the HeroTel family”, says Gideon Stander. “I have been keeping a keen eye on how they have helped other WISPS grow through access to capital and skills, but what really excites me is how they are helping their partners deploy fibre. We believe that a mix of wireless and fibre will be perfect for our market. It’s an exciting time for all of our clients and staff. We can’t wait to get going.”

Radioactive is the 30th acquisition that the group 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.

The HeroTel Alliance now has 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 wireless Internet service provider. (ITWEB Exclusive Release)

HeroTel consolidates its presence in the North West with Koshcom acquisition

Following the purchase of Truecom,  Safricom and Xpress Networks in the North West, HeroTel has announced the 100% acquisition of Kosh Communication Services (Koshcom), for an undisclosed amount.

 

Koshcom is a Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP), which was founded in 2004 by Albert and Daleen Hurter. They build their own infrastructure and provide Internet and VoIP services to Klerksdorp, Orkney, Stilfontein and the surrounding rural areas.

 

“We are delighted that Albert and Daleen have decided that Koshcom should join us”, HeroTel Chairman Alan Knott-Craig told ITWeb in an exclusive interview. “Koshcom fills the last gap in our coverage map in the North West Province. Together with the other three WISPs we are now able to offer services to the vast majority of homes and businesses there. This is in line with our strategy to start filling in the spaces between our existing Alliance members.”

 

HeroTel CEO, Corné de Villiers commented: “These four WISPs have a long history of collaborating and sharing resources, to provide uninterrupted coverage over the majority of the province. We will build further on these relationships, now that they are all formally part of the same group. The North West will be managed as one region, which will create economies of scale and improved services and support for our clients in the area. Koshcom and its clients will also benefit from the capital and skills from the group companies when it comes to the deployment of fibre and access to licensed spectrum. We have laid hundreds of kilometers of fibre through Potchefstroom, Ventersdorp and Lichtenburg. We will look for similar opportunities in the Koshcom coverage area.”

 

“Joining HeroTel makes perfect sense for the shareholders, staff and clients of Koshcom”, says Managing Director and founder, Albert Hurter. “We have watched how our three neighboring WISPs have flourished within the HeroTel Alliance. The consultative approach from HeroTel and their support in terms of skills, management and capital will allow Koshcom to grow even faster. We are excited to start working as a unit across the province and look forward to this new exciting chapter for our staff and clients.”

 

Koshcom is the 29th acquisition that the group has completed and in line with its strategy to date, there are no planned changes in management or staff at the company.

 

The HeroTel Alliance now has 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 wireless Internet service provider. Management expects to be making a number of announcements on further acquisitions over the next few weeks.

HeroTel acquires national VoIP provider VTN Communications

HeroTel has purchased 100% of VTN Communications (VTNC), a national provider of VoIP and PABX Systems, for an undisclosed sum.

VTNC was established in 2011. Under the leadership of Managing Director, Louis van der Wath, VTNC has grown from a small telephony reseller to a major player in the South African market, serving many household names and a growing number of multinational businesses. With a sales and support network of 20 dealers across the country, VTNC provides carrier-grade voice solutions including VoIP, TMS and PABX systems from Samsung and Mitel.
HeroTel has grown exponentially to become South Africa’s largest Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP), through acquisition and an aggressive organic growth strategy. VTNC is the 28th acquisition that the Group has concluded thus far. This is the first major deal that is not a pure WISP-play.

“We have a clear strategy to develop a set of real value-added services for our clients”, HeroTel Group Chairman, Alan Knott-Craig, told ITWeb in an exclusive interview. “We have a rapidly growing client base of over 45,000 users that are looking for more than just connectivity from us. VTNC will allow us to offer voice services to these clients, at a scale and quality, that would be difficult to reproduce organically.”

Corne’ de Villiers, HeroTel CEO said: “VTNC in its own right is a very successful company, on an accelerated growth path and we are excited to have them in the Group. Their client base consists mostly of multi-branch national and international businesses and we see limited overlap, but huge strategic synergies. Our business users are mostly SMB and large corporate companies. The skills that Louis and his team bring will allow us to build robust cloud and onsite voice solutions for our existing clients. VTNC in return gets a partner who is able to offer quality on-net last mile connectivity to its business clients, through HeroTel’s own high-speed fibre and fixed wireless networks.”

“We are excited about joining the HeroTel Alliance,” said van der Wath, “HeroTel operates in the major metros and hundreds of smaller towns, while VTNC has a presence in all the big cities in South Africa. We see an excellent opportunity for us to assist the HeroTel WISPs in building a strong voice revenue stream while improving the consistency and quality of the VoIP experience for their clients. HeroTel has a large staff and network footprint, which will assist VTNC to expand our own sales, engineering and support capability to our existing client base. This is a great partnership, in the true sense of the word.”

HeroTel now has expanded coverage via its WISPs in the North West, Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, the Eastern Cape and surrounds. Last week ITWeb reported on the acquisition of True Communications and HeroTel management expects to be announcing even more deals soon.

HeroTel bulks up in the North West with the acquisition of Truecom

 

HeroTel has strengthened its coverage in the North West Province through the acquisition of 100% of True Communications, based in Ventersdorp.

Truecom was established in 2009 by Eldred Ekermans. From their six POPs in Ventersdorp, Lichtenburg, Zeerust, Warrenton, Mafikeng and Vryburg the company provides Internet, VoIP and hosting services, to more than 30 towns across the Province.

The business started out as a Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP) but pivoted to deploying its own fibre networks in 2016. To date, Truecom has deployed over 240km of aerial fibre across Ventersdorp and Lichtenburg. Plans are in place to expand this fibre footprint to Zeerust, Vryburg and Mafikeng within the next year.

“Truecom brings a number of new opportunities to our WISPs”, commented HeroTel Group Chairman, Alan Knott-Craig, in an ITWeb exclusive. “They have successfully deployed a mix of fibre and high-speed wireless, at a price point that we have not seen before. This is a winning formula and a blueprint for what is possible in our smaller towns and rural communities across South Africa. Who would have thought that all of Lichtenburg would have access to fibre before many of the larger cities in this country?”

Truecom is the 27th acquisition that the group has completed and in line with its strategy to date, there are no planned changes in management or staff at the company.

“We have been watching the HeroTel model for a number of years now and we are delighted that we have managed to do a deal with them that is as exciting for our clients and staff, as it is for our shareholders”, said Truecom Managing Director and founder, Eldred Ekermans. “HeroTel is fully aligned with our fibre and wireless strategy and will provide us with the scale, systems and capital to expand faster than what we could have done on our own.”

“We already own Safricom and Xpress Networks, in the North West Province,” said HeroTel CEO, Cornè de Villiers “and we are excited to build on the existing good relationship between these three companies. It makes sense for them to share strategic infrastructure, like high sites and backhaul, to create redundancy and improved coverage for our clients across the Province. In fact, we will not only actively promote co-operation between these businesses but with the other WISPs in the area too. The North West is a glimpse of the future of the WISP industry, where fibre is deployed in the densely populated zones, while high-speed wireless fills the gaps between the towns. This is how next-generation rural networks will be built. We are delighted to be part of it with the amazing team at Truecom.”

 

The HeroTel Alliance now has 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 wireless Internet service provider. Management expects to be making a number of announcements on further acquisitions over the next few weeks.

HeroTel acquires Safricom