Internet Solutions acquires stake in Mozambique ISP

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Internet Solutions and Convergence Wireless Networks acquire stake in Mozambique based ISP. Internet Solutions (IS) and Convergence Wireless Networks (CWN) announced last week that they have collectively acquired a 68.5% equity stake in a Mozambique based internet service provider (ISP), INTRA Lda.

The deal forms part of IS’ East-African expansion initiative aimed at capitalising on the recently launched Seacom undersea cable. IS will take the lead as INTRA’s operating partner while CWN will act as an active financial investor.

“Securing a presence in Mozambique is important as the country is strategically significant due to its geographical relevance to South Africa,” says Hillel Shrock, Business Solutions Director at IS.

“The country also provides an ideal base to reach various landlocked African countries along Mozambique’s and South Africa’s borders, as it is only 200km wide. This is key to developing our business into Uganda and Tanzania and growing our existing business in Kenya.”

According to Shrock, IS also has a number of South African customers with a presence in Mozambique. “Acquiring a stake in an existing Mozambique based ISP was the ideal approach, as it enables us to leverage off of their established infrastructure and immediately secure a broader customer base,” he says. “Furthermore, the investment we are making in INTRA allows us to deliver the substantial capacity we have secured as an anchor tenant on Seacom to our existing and prospective customers in the region. This is a key element in our strategy to grow our pan-African footprint.”

Established in 2001, INTRA was one of the first wireless broadband ISP's in Maputo. INTRA has a substantial spectrum allocation from the industry regulator that it uses to deliver connectivity services to local consumers and SMEs.

“IS will utilise this wireless infrastructure to service the established SME and the growing corporate market in Mozambique.” comments Karim Premji, Chairman and founding member of INTRA Lda. “The INTRA business division that serves these markets will therefore be rebranded as IS Mozambique, while the INTRA brand will remain operational in the Mozambican consumer market.”

IS plans to retrofit 20 base stations in Maputo, install the latest generation MPLS network and support it with industry best practice power back-up and redundancy, which will then enable the high capacity core backbone to connect into the Seacom landing station.

Current Maputo based IS satellite customers will be transferred to a cable based Virtual Private Network/MPLS Network, while a state of the art V-Sat hub will be deployed in Maputo to connect outlying areas in the north, as well as customers in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Angola and parts of South Africa.