Western Cape Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  14 Jan 2009

INFOTECH: Wireless Connectivity for Cape Town


Recent Western Cape Business News

Getting connected in Cape Town just became easier with the introduction of a new point-to-point wireless network by Internet Service Provider Snowball Effect. The company’s solution covers some 95% of the city’s central business district, giving businesses in the area a low-cost, rapidly deployed solution to connect branch offices or outlets.

According to Snowball Effect CEO Eugene van der Merwe, the company recognised the need for companies with several outlets within the city centre and Western Cape to connect their branches. “This was formerly only possible with a Diginet line, which is costly, has capacity limitations and can take months for installation. With our two wireless ‘high sites’, we are able to provide a link of up to 2 megabits per second between one location and another at a fraction of the cost. And we guarantee installation within two weeks,” says van der Merwe.

The connectivity speed is many times faster than Diginet lines which start at 64 kilobits per second and comes in at about half the price.

He explains that many companies, such as retailers, car dealerships, restaurants and more, have several outlets within the city basin and Western Cape. “The ability to connect these locations cost effectively means inexpensive communications over the point-to-point network. Whether it is voice or data exchange, the network allows such organisations to stay in touch, while area managers are able to get information from every branch quickly for analysis and reporting.”

For those companies which already have a Diginet or other link between their offices, Snowball Effect’s network is a potentially valuable additional link which can support business continuity efforts. “Some customers want a completely different service provider and network which provides peace of mind should their primary connection be compromised,” says van der Merwe.

The network supports the concept of a virtual private network, providing companies with a secure link over which information can be safely transmitted. Snowball Effect’s network is fully redundant, which means it has features built in which ensure the highest levels of reliability and availability. “The network is designed as a business-critical service, which is monitored around the clock by our team of engineers; if any issues occur, notification is immediate and there is an automatic switchover to the redundant system to keep our customers connected,” says van der Merwe.  

As a wireless network, he adds that deployment is rapid and straightforward. “Before wireless networks, the only way to establish a link between two sites was with copper wire, which is complex and expensive. With a wireless network, the process is as simple as installing equipment at the customer sites and switching it on,” van der Merwe notes.

“This solution is ideal for the Western Cape because Snowball also has a presence in Helderberg, the Cape Winelands, the Northern Suburbs and up to the Melkbosstrand and Koeberg areas,” he adds.

The service is initially available in two configurations, one uncapped and the other limited.

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