A Ghanaian Telco with a Global Flavour
Writer: Emily Jarvis
Project Manager: Donovan Smith
Specialising in agnostic technology, specifically connectivity that is individually tailored to the demands of organisations across the enterprise, public sector and SMEs, Internet Solutions Ghana has made significant strides since formation in the country in 2008, with a concerted focus on bringing connectivity, communications and cloud solutions to the local market.
Internet Solutions is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Dimension Data MEA, headquartered in South Africa, and the NTT Group based in Japan. The multinational structure enables Internet Solutions Ghana to leverage some of the world’s most innovative end-to-end telecoms solutions and related services and bring them straight to the Ghanaian market.
“In the past year, we have witnessed a huge shift not just in connectivity usage, but also in terms of the number of carriers here and the increasing desire for cloud solutions. In reaction to this, Internet Solutions Ghana deployed a number of cloud solutions two years ago and has been experiencing growth ever since. Last year, we reaped the fruits of our thought leadership and were subsequently nominated and awarded the ‘Cloud Service Provider of the Year’ at the Ghana Telecoms Awards in 2014,” says Yvette Adounvo Atekpe, Regional Managing Director (MD) of Internet Solutions Ghana.
Since establishment 21 years ago, the Internet Solutions brand has built a presence in South Africa, the UK, Nigeria, Mozambique, Kenya, Uganda and Ghana, with 56 PoPs (points of presence) across the continent. West Africa, in particular Ghana, was identified by the Group as an attractive market due to its economic and political stability in recent times, resulting in one of the fastest growing economies in Africa.
“The Group sees Ghana as a key growth area, recognising that we are part of a much larger technology ecosystem emerging on the continent. As such, we intend to keep pace with the latest innovations so as to not only stand out from the competition, but bring international network and global service delivery standards to the Ghanaian market,” the MD further highlights.
In July 2015, Internet Solutions Ghana announced that it had broken ground for its US$15 million network infrastructure expansion project. Dubbed the Metro Fibre project, the investment is a significant milestone that will provide better connectivity to the last mile.
Adounvo Atekpe further explains: “Ghana has access to a substantial undersea cable network, and although it provides the country with a quality wide geographic network infrastructure, our investment will bridge the current gap in bringing robust last mile infrastructure direct to commercial and business locations.
“Leveraging our position as a telco leader, this expansion over the next three years is designed to meet the growing demand for data and provide more services for our enterprise and government clients, allowing them to deliver enhanced services to their customers and citizens.”
Since launching the Metro Fibre project a month ago at a ceremony with the Minister of Communications in Accra, Internet Solutions Ghana has began deploying the relevant network infrastructure in Accra and will soon cover additional commercially viable cities in Ghana.
Collaborating with contractors, Infratele Solutions Ghana and Tejas Networks (India), the network will have an initial capacity of 400 Gigabits a second (Gbps) which is expandable to 3.2 Terrabits a second (Tbps), providing an advanced fibre optic backbone to deliver improved data services to Ghana.
“To complement the Metro Fibre project, we searched for a world class, ultra-fast wireless broadband technology partner in Ghana. We selected Cambium Networks and its 3.5 GHz point-to-multipoint platform because of its combination of leading technology, high reliability and speed of deployment,” adds Adounvo Atekpe.
In tandem with the substantial network infrastructure investments being made, Internet Solutions Ghana has been able to release a new range of products to the market that focus on delivering value-add services for the cloud.
“Cloud services have become extremely pervasive in Ghana. Cloud is an enabler: if one takes into consideration the flexibility and reduced costs from adopting cloud services, then any organisation can easily see the benefits of implementing the service. Advantageously for Internet Solutions Ghana, we are able to quickly deploy cloud services including hosted enterprise PBX, managed services and Wi-Fi,” Adounvo Atekpe details.
Internet Solutions Ghana is following in the footsteps of the global technology revolution and capitalising on the latest trends in the business to bring the best in connectivity, cloud computing and communication solutions to as many people as possible. Behind every cloud solution is a data centre, and Internet Solutions Ghana also has a foothold in this space also via its tier 3 data centre in the country.
“The above forms an integral part of our service promise, which we have a duty to live up to. In line with this our customers have access to our state-of-the-art Customer Zone, an online service where clients can login and see network developments in real time.
“In order to ensure optimum uptime of the network for our customers, we are investing in alternative energy such as solar power and as a result, most of our base stations are now powered by renewable energy as a second tier backup to diesel generators,” she continues.
To complete the value-add service offering is a team of 46 100 percent Ghanaian employees who benefit from Group training from the Dimension Data University (DDU), which is something that distinguishes Internet Solutions Ghana from the competition.
Adounvo Atekpe says: “We were commended by the government of Ghana for our 100 percent local status which has only been possible due to our huge network presence around the world. This gives our customers confidence in the brand, demonstrating that while we are fully Ghanaian, we inject a global flavour into our network through our alignment with the wider Group.”
The DDU’s online learning platform provides all requisite training for staff and this is supplemented with locally tailored training to meet country-specific requirements.
“In order to provide a personal touch, we have a dedicated solutions architect who is tasked with making sure that the client receives the right solutions and is happy with their service. He/she spends time with the client to understand their unique requirements and ‘design’ an appropriate solution,” she further adds.
Internet Solutions Ghana’s huge network investment serves to cement its position in Ghana long into the future. The undeniable connection between internet access and economic growth, particularly on the African continent, makes the Company’s work even more poignant.
For Adounvo Atekpe, the ultimate aim of Internet Solutions Ghana’s investments is to both improve customer experience and reduce costs. She concludes: “Over the long-term, it will be great to see the impact of our completed metro fibre line and the difference it will make to the country’s wider economic development by bringing more people and new services online.
“In the not too distant future, we look forward to Internet Solutions Ghana being the company that all future-focused organisations turn to for end-to-end communication solutions. We will continue to honour our partnerships with local companies and focus on our core IT solutions business and maintain and enhance customer confidence in our brand, while leveraging our global links to deliver the best technologies in Ghana.”