Vumatel, the startup that’s helped drive the rollout of fibre to the home (FTTH) services in Johannesburg’s northern suburbs (and which recently began offering services in Cape Town), has announced that it’s acquired rival FTTH company Fibrehoods. Neither the value of the deal nor its terms have been disclosed.
Unlike Vumatel, which trenches and lays fibre underground, Fibrehoods offers aerial fibre, that is, fibre-optic cable strung between lamp posts and other existing infrastructure, which is easier and cheaper to deploy than conventional fibre.
Vumatel says it plans to complete its fibre infrastructure rollout across Johannesburg by the third quarter of next year, and that the acquisition helps ensure that target is met. According to Niel Schoeman, CEO of Vumatel, the Fibrehoods network complements Vumatel’s network footprint with little overlap. “Through Fibrehoods we gain more capability to expand into new suburbs quicker,” he says. “There are also ancillary benefits that we gain from economies of scale.”
While Vumatel intends to integrate the two businesses eventually, Schoeman says this won’t happen immediately. “For now the companies will still operate as separate businesses and we will manage the integration only once we are happy that it can happen smoothly.”
With the acquisition of Fibrehoods, Vumatel’s fibre footprint now includes the following suburbs: Atholl, Beverley Gardens, Bordeaux North and South, Bryanston Ext. 3, Craighall and Craighall Park, Dunkeld and Dunkeld West, Elton Hill, Illovo, Inanda, Lyme Park, Norwood, Oaklands, Orchards, Rivonia, Savoy, Vandia Grove, Waverley, and Winston Ridge.