Richard Smuts-Steyn CEO Mulitsource signing with Dr Hung Song Vice-President Global Marketing Group from Samsung
Samsung has appointed Multisource, South Africa's leading wireless technology provider, as a Regional Partner of its Mobile WiMax and Long Term Evolution (LTE) products.
As a result of the deal, Multisource has secured an estimated $250 million worth of vendor financing investment into telecommunications across the African continent. This financing is made available through Multisource's primary shareholder, Sasfin Bank, who has backed the deal.
Richard Smuts-Steyn, CEO of Multisource, says: “We're thrilled to introduce the latest WiMax and LTE solutions to the African market. The timing of this partnership ensures that Multisource is able to meet the needs of service operators across the region, which are preparing to launch next-generation mobile broadband and meet the growing need of mobile Internet users.”
The deal was officially signed in Cape Town by Smuts-Steyn and Samsung's Dr Hung Song, Vice-President, Global Marketing Group.
“This deal is founded on Multisource's technical ability and strong distribution channels, as well as Sasfin Bank's financial expertise and international banking relationships. It is deals like this that will ensure the longer term sustainable growth within the African Telecommunications industry,” adds Smuts-Steyn. “The technology and indeed the vendor finance are aimed at large carriers and ISPs in sub-Saharan Africa. The resulting combination - leading technologies of Mobile WiMax and LTE, international brand strength of Samsung, and opportunity for fully financed projects, will ensure that both fixed and mobile operators can meet the growth challenges presented in the booming data hungry markets of Africa.”
WiMax emerged as a strong contender about eight years ago as a means to offload the data overhead from the primarily voice-dominant GSM networks. While WiMax has provided wireless ISPs with high levels of service quality to wireless access, the downside for the GSM operator using WiMax to offload data was the infrastructural requirements and running costs associated with the maintenance of two disparate networks. Now, LTE brings voice and data into a singular environment, making it a highly attractive offer going into the future. Samsung offers an easy migration path from Mobile WiMax into the LTE space, as well as a host of enabled customer devices such as smartphones, laptops, USB devices, and other customer premises access points.
The focus on LTE within the telecoms environment continues to grow as subscribers become more and more bandwidth hungry, and demand higher levels of flexibility and mobility. Mobile WiMax growth attests to this with a growth from 1.6 million subscribers globally in 2009 to 7 million in 2010. It is projected that by end of 2011 there will be 18.5 million Mobile WiMax subscribers globally. Where Samsung holds 40% of the global Mobile WiMax market, it offers its carrier customers an easy upgrade path to LTE as the technology becomes mainstream.
Malcolm Segal, CFO of Sasfin Bank, says: “We are most pleased with our investment into Multisource and most proud of our association with Samsung. The appointment of Multisource as partner to Samsung is significant in itself, but the resulting investment in vendor financed projects represents one of the largest to the Africa telecommunications industry by any single brand. This investment will not only bring the associated returns to Multisource as a technology company, but will provide a strong foundation for LTE growth into the continent.”
Multisource has been operating and supporting telecommunications and wireless networks since 1947, making it one of the most established players in the market. Samsung is the world's largest IT group with a combined turnover exceeding US$120 billion per annum. While it is best known for its consumer appliances and cellphones, it also commands 40% of the Mobile WiMax market space globally, with a major focus on market shares in European and American markets. “With their current focus on the Africa market, they have elected to partner with Multisource to manage their telecommunications offering in sub-Saharan Africa, taking advantage of our strong distribution backbone,” says Smuts-Steyn.