Bringing the power of internet connectivity to every South African and every business
Jan-Jan Bezuidenhout, CEO of MetroFibre, shares an overview of the strategic focus for the business as it plans to meet its mission of being a diversified operator in the massively competitive and capital-intensive fibre network market.
Jan-Jan took the helm as CEO of MetroFibre as of 1 June 2022, bringing vast experience and strategic focus to the table, having represented the lead institutional shareholder on the MetroFibre board from 2013 to 2019, before being appointed as Deputy CEO of the business. Prior to joining MetroFibre, Jan-Jan spent more than a decade focusing on Private Equity, Infrastructure Investments and Corporate Development at leading financial institutions.
“MetroFibre has been on an extensive investment drive which is fundamental to achieving our growth targets and meeting the demand for quality, high-speed digital infrastructure in South Africa. As the third largest fibre network operator in the country, MetroFibre’s open access network currently passes over 350,000 homes and thousands of businesses in six provinces across South Africa, and we are well advanced in our strategy to gain further market share, both organically as well as through strategic acquisitions. We are aiming to expand and densify our existing network, and plan on passing an additional 500,000 homes by 2025,” explains Jan-Jan.
“Growth, however, is not only about having the capital to rollout infrastructure, but also developing solutions for the changing needs of our business and residential customers, and specifically underserved communities,” he adds.
To this end, MetroFibre recently announced a major overhaul of its Fibre-To-The-Home (FTTH) speed packages, making it one of the most competitive currently available in the market. It’s MetroConnect solution is a pioneering new pay-as-you-go model that caters for customers who may only require intermittent use and do not want to commit to lengthy service contracts. “Our strategy is driven by the fact that for people to participate, meaningfully, in a heavily digitised and knowledge-based economy, we must address the inequality that a lack of fast and stable internet access brings to South African households and small businesses,” says Jan-Jan.
MetroFibre has strategically developed its FTTB competency to service businesses of all sizes, from SMMEs, through to blue-chip financial services customers where it counts both local and international corporates amongst its customer base. With the increasing demand for bandwidth fuelled by the migration to cloud and streaming applications, MetroFibre provides high-capacity bandwidths at the lowest latency on a single pair of fibres, with a managed optical service on its ROADM/DWDM network – offering redundancy and network protection throughout most of Gauteng and all the major data centres.
When it comes to education and the importance of internet connectivity, MetroFibre is also well down the road with various feasibility studies and proof of concepts to meet the demand from schools.
“Beyond our organic growth strategy of expanding and densifying our existing network, MetroFibre is actively seeking strategic acquisitions of existing infrastructure networks at a time when the sector is undergoing a significant consolidation process,” concludes Jan-Jan.
From its early days as a start-up business with less than 20 employees, today MetroFibre is a trusted and professional corporate business with over 500 employees and a rapidly growing footprint, ranking in the top three fibre network operators (FNO) in the country.