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SimpliConnect takes on SA’s established ISPs

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Farhad Suleman, CEO of SimpliConnect.
Farhad Suleman, CEO of SimpliConnect.

New Internet service provider (ISP) SimpliConnect, which officially launched last year, is looking to disrupt the South African market.

The company competes against the likes of Webafrica, Vox and Afrihost in SA’s tightly-contested ISP space.

With more people working and learning from home because of the COVID-19 lockdown, many ISPs in SA have been launching various products to take advantage of a spike in data demand.

This week, SimpliConnect launched its own business and consumer connectivity solutions.

In an e-mail interview with ITWeb, Farhad Suleman, CEO of SimpliConnect, says there are many pain points identified within the ISP sector, one of them being customer service; another being the variety of solutions that suit the specific needs of customers and value for money.

“Even though having Internet access has become a basic necessity, people are frustrated by the limitations of existing offerings,” says Suleman.

“Furthermore, service providers need to cater for all segments of the market, including a rapidly-expanding mixed-use consumer where the home has become the office and the office is also the classroom.”

Suleman describes himself as a “techpreneur” with over a decade of experience in the telecoms industry, spanning roles at original equipment manufacturers, ISPs and most recently as regional consumer head of Vodacom KZN.

“We will also be launching a full end-to-end digital service and solutions that will go beyond connectivity to meet the needs of the market today, selling fully converged and digital propositions to both the consumer and business market in SA, allowing customers to compare offers from multiple sources,” he says.

SimpliConnect partners with bigger vendors to scale and has access to most Bit-stream providers in SA.

“We take naked access and build a full proposition for the local market which covers hardware, software and connectivity,” he explains.

Currently, the ISP has a partnership with Vodacom, Suleman says, adding that more partnerships are imminent.

“We will be scaling the business by focusing on solutions per industry vertical. This is not a one size fits all approach to connectivity and related services in SA. We use insights and leverage on our partner knowledge to create solutions that allow customers to basket the products and services to meet their needs.”

According to Suleman, in other countries, connectivity is a utility and treated as such. “After all, how often do you think about how your car engine works when you turn the ignition? The same should apply to the Internet in South Africa. People need fast and reliable access but more importantly, it needs to be tailored for their specific usage needs so that they are only paying for what they actually use,” he notes.

“The temptation for ISPs is to label a solution as something that helps to create a digital society, but many do not give any thought to what this really entails. It is about creating an enabling environment that drives Internet access and the adoption of technologies that improve our quality of life.”

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