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Albie’s Wireless partners with Fixed Mobile Telecoms to deliver reliable rural broadband

Albie’s Wireless partners with Fixed Mobile Telecoms to deliver reliable rural broadband

Albie’s Wireless, a wireless internet service provider (WISP) based in De Aar, is partnering with Fixed Mobile Telecoms (FMT) to bring reliable rural broadband services to around 3,500 clients. FMT’s carrier-grade core backhaul network enables Albie’s Wireless to offer a highly available service to its customers, most of them in areas with no fibre connectivity.

Albie’s Wireless is a member of WAPA (Wireless Access Providers Association of South Africa). Albie’s network comprises 250 high sites and spans 800 kilometres at its furthest points. It covers most of the Northern Cape and touches the borders of the Eastern Cape, Western Cape, and Free State.

According to Albie Augustyn, owner and MD of Albie’s Wireless, his major challenges include getting bandwidth to all the network endpoints and protecting network sites from theft and vandalism. Unreliable service from backhaul network providers has been a constant headache for the business since it was founded in 2012.

One key provider to the business has gone as far as to make it Albie’s problem to monitor its rural nodes and towers and to repair faults or start up generators when there’s a problem. The cost of technicians and vehicles to service this network to ensure availability has become expensive.

Fixed Mobile Telecoms to the rescue

That’s one reason Albie’s is partnering with Fixed Mobile and is planning to move all of its core backhaul business to FMT the company in the months to come. “Fixed Mobile came to my rescue a few years ago when I was having connectivity trouble with one of my other service providers,” says Augustyn.

“When my engineers and I failed to resolve a complex core network problem, they sorted it out. I’ve used the biggest names for backhaul capacity and never had that kind of service before. The Fixed Mobile team is always available, even in the middle of the night. We have also not forgotten how they helped WISPs survive COVID by providing free IP transit in lockdown.”

FMT is providing Albie’s Wireless with around 2.5Gbps of backhaul capacity. One major advantage of working with Fixed Mobile is that it offers highly competitive pricing while maintaining a high level of availability and redundancy. Augustyn also prefers working with FMT because it does not tie him into a long-term contract.

Getting rid of a major cost

Once Albie’s Wireless moves entirely onto the Fixed Mobile network, it will be able to shut down its Cape Town point of presence (PoP). “I will no longer need to have this PoP, which was a high cost to my business, because of the way the FMT guys designed their network architecture,” says Augustyn.

Says Ed du Plessis, CEO of Fixed Mobile Telecoms: “Partnering with WAPA members like Albie’s Wireless creates wins for both parties. We get reliable last-mile connectivity for our corporate customers with footprints in the most remote parts of the country. In turn, we offer WISPs access to one of South Africa’s best carrier-grade core networks, so they can deliver top-class services to their local customers.”

FMT is the Platinum Sponsor of this year’s returning WAPALOZA. WAPALOZA is the Wireless Access Provider’s Association (WAPA) annual event, the only one of its kind in South Africa. Wisps can register at www.wapaloza.co.za.

Interested Wisps can contact Ed and Rikus directly at FMT.

Email:
carrier@fixedmobile.com

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