Fri, 27/07/2018 - 05:40
Current Issue 69
Solving Real-World Problems
Comsol Networks’ national and regional footprint continues to facilitate improved wireless connectivity solutions for all strands of society
Writer: Matthew Staff
Project Manager: Kane Weller
Around 20 years ago, a budding South African innovator set on its journey to plug a vital infrastructure gap in the country’s network. Two decades on, Comsol Networks has cemented its legacy as a key digital enabler in South Africa’s most critical technological period, virtue of its sustainable and collaborative proposition for alternative infrastructure.
Offering a substitute approach to traditional fibre solutions was a business model borne from a critical need in the country, at a time when the wider telecoms industry was suffering regulation challenges and shortages. Entering the market with its 28 GHz spectrum, the Company thus became a primary and complementary open access, layer 2 connectivity solution provider to connect single or multiple branches of an enterprise, in South Africa.
Since then, bespoke customer solutions, network infrastructure enhancements, the roll out of a national wireless network and the deployment of an IoT network have been delivered in South Africa and further afield to help Comsol make a name for itself in building high-quality, high-speed wireless ecosystems for telcos and corporates across the region.
On its website, the Company sums up its influence by listing that it connects, enables, integrates, provides smart solutions, and partners; all to ensure the most advanced and flexible array of services possible in an ever-changing and evolving domain.
“We offer guaranteed, dedicated, high speed carrier grade solutions to more than 200 South African metropolitan areas and towns, creating a business grade foundation for you to connect, anywhere, any time,” the Company says. “We enable all major telcos, carriers and service providers to meet the connectivity needs of South Africa, giving them a superior open access network to deliver quality, reliable services to the market.
“Further to this we enable end-to-end IoT solutions for smart businesses… we are uniquely positioned as an enabler of services and not a [fibre] channel competitor.”
Comsol Networks’ Chief Operating Officer, Greg Montjoie adds: “Initially the business had the foresight to secure the 28GHz spectrum and we now own about half of that spectrum in the country.”
A large part of Comsol’s evolution and ability to innovate has been driven by partnerships.
“Comsol is renowned for finding gaps in the market, but leveraging our partnerships has allowed us to walk the journey with our clients into these new technology territories,” Montjoie adds.
Partnerships and innovation
Comsol has strived to understand clients’ and partners’ business needs and take them on the journey with the Company. For enterprises especially, they are rightly wary of new connectivity mediums, so it is important to make sure the process entails collaboration and education.
Embedded within Comsol’s strategy is a need to be as flexible and customisable as possible with each proposed solution, tailoring systems and technologies for each individual customer to meet their needs. Once again, having the right business partners and vendors in place, has helped facilitate this seamless sharing of expertise and enaction of services.
“I think the ability to tailor bespoke solutions and to create something different with each client in mind has been a big differentiator for us,” Montjoie continues. “We have been lucky to form numerous tech-based partnerships over the years and these, combined with our strong, core engineering capabilities, have allowed us to rapidly innovate for our clients’ benefit.”
In turn, with each successful project completed, a broader audience has opened up for further opportunities around the continent.
“I can’t emphasise enough how important this merging of partnerships and innovation has been,” Montjoie sums up. “These are the two non-negotiable values within our business that continue to make Comsol successful and sustainable.”
Solving real-world problems
The impact that this philosophy has had stretches far beyond corporate clients too. In fact, when asked about some of the more exciting projects engaged in, in recent years, Montjoie hits upon a much more poignant and socially uplifting area of Comsol’s work.
Bridging areas of education and agriculture in particular, CSR becomes one with business, as its advanced IoT solutions and infrastructure initiatives have helped to make schools and farming communities more technologically-savvy, smarter, and increasingly resilient to regional challenges.
And behind each and every successful implementation is a thriving HR strategy which ensures that the best possible team and systems are in place to aid the Company’s evolution and its impact on various client segments.
Montjoie details: “We have never had a high turnover of staff and we invest a lot into the training of our team and the general working environment. These continuous improvements combine with our infrastructure investments to make us one of the top wireless networks in the regulated spectrum in the country.
“We talk about client-centricity and professional excellence as all companies do, but we walk the walk, and that’s the difference.”
Creative license is given to each member of staff to facilitate high levels of innovation, Montjoie affirming that Comsol is willing to express its creativity in the technical space more than most.
As a consequence, the business is able to celebrate ongoing successes across three defined parameters; the first of which inevitably being profitable business growth.
“The second is this aforementioned element of staff encouragement, helping them to shine as industry leaders in the IT space, the radio frequency space or whichever chosen field of expertise they operate in,” the COO states. “And this leads aptly into the third overriding goal we have moving forward. It might sound cliched, but we want to see every one of our clients succeed.
“This might be in supply chain, the mining industry, public sector, or in any form of life, but we’re only succeeding as an enabler if our clients are growing in their own worlds. And this means solving real-world problems for them that nobody else can solve, to ensure that our clients are performing better than ever, our staff are flying high, and we’re showcasing our development of the region’s infrastructural landscape.”