Nomosphere, reportedly France’s largest Wi-Fi operator, has opened its first international subsidiary in Johannesburg, South Africa. According to Nomosphere this will be the initial point of their planned global expansion and they plan to grow aggressive in South Africa in order to address what they see as a booming market in the country.
The company wants to capture 15-20 percent of the South African market within three years, by acting as a subcontractor for large telecommunications companies and offering value-added services for venues such as shopping centres, retailers, restaurants, hotels, and large public venues.
Ellie Hagopian, Wireless Access Providers’ Association deputy chair and co-founder of customer intelligence software company Viento, has been appointed as CEO of Nomosphere South Africa. She will be joined by Chief Technology Officer Neelay Pillay, whose previous experience includes working in the carrier solutions division of Internet Solutions.
“I am excited to be able to bring Nomosphere’s proven, market-leading solutions to South Africa. There are very few players in the Wi-Fi space that can credibly claim to have experience delivering carrier-grade Wi-Fi networks that are properly designed, installed, and actively monitored; and even fewer that have the expertise and technology to deliver open-access wireless solutions, ” said Hagopian.
In France, Nomosphere has already achieved over 15 percent market share, and has over 30 million users connecting via the network yearly, with several thousand hotspots deployed.
Nomosphere VP, Philippe Le Grand, says the company plans to differentiate its services in South Africa by “delivering functionality to enhance the operations of our customers”. Some of their services include online marketing, geo-positioning, geo-fencing, content delivery, M2M utilities and social network interconnections.
According to Nomosphere, its solutions are powered by carrier-grade Wi-Fi hardware from Xirrus, Ruckus Wireless and Cisco. It also has proprietary open-access and network monitoring solutions. These, it says, allows for “delivery of large-scale installations and proactive monitoring and maintenance of the installations, all the way down to individual Wi-Fi routers.
“Carrier-grade installations are relatively new in South Africa, and Nomosphere believes that its proven track record will allow it to establish itself as a market leader very quickly.”
“SA is experiencing increased wireless telecom usage and growing demand for data consumption,” says Le Grand. He feels that with SIM card penetration exceeding 100% and a growth rate in excess of 5% in 2014, South Africa is one of the most promising markets for telecoms services on the continent.