Head of Business at Zeta-Web, Adesoye Amoo, speaks to Anthony Nwosu of IT EDGE NEWS about the altering challenges of delivering internet services in Nigeria.
What are your niche areas as an internet service provider?
We are among the first ISP companies to offer hybrid internet access connection to corporate companies on multiple platforms such as direct fibre optic, microwave transmission and satellite technology jointly, as a bundle package. Our corporate clients who cannot afford outages due to the critical nature of their business now enjoy continuous internet access over their preferred platforms either over broadband and microwave link; or clients with distributed companies in the remotest part of the country can connect easily using combination of microwave radio and Vsat if there is no fiber path. This means that there is no period in the business lifecycle of our clients that there is a total disruption in their internet connections due to outages because we provide a back-up service to the primary link to forestall these.
Broadband is a buzzword now in internet services, what are the distinct features?
Broadband is the speed while the internet is the means through which you access broadband. It is therefore possible to have both, or one, or neither, depending on your equipment and service provider. An ISP offers broadband connection access dependent on how their services are provisioned (either 24hrs, peak period only or off peak). A customer on the other hand pays the ISP an agreed fee for their services (i.e. paying for the means to connect to the internet) using any of the platforms made available by the provider.
In an instance where though the customer has subscribed to a particular service, but does not follow through with the conditions of the service (switching on the router, inserting the dongle or not even allowing the installation be done), then, though he has paid for the means to connect to the internet, such a client would not be connected because the steps necessary for that to work has not been done. Broadband is the Fiber, Wireless, and Vsat or even dial up and these platforms are the means that will drive the infrastructure in place to be connected to the internet. Technically, it does not mean the same, but to a layman, it means the same. It is just a misconception of taking one to be the other and vice versa.
Internet service providers are crashing the cost of access, how have you been able to keep yourself afloat?
Technically, we do not just provide internet, we are here to help our clients achieve their business objectives which are to succeed. We partner with them by providing solutions beyond internet connections. We keep a tab on their growth and make their continuity in business our primary focus and we achieve this by carrying out periodic research on their industry and take only solutions that will be of value and immense benefits to them as a business. We stay afloat because our clients do not see us as internet service providers, but rather as their strategic business partner, who provides the required solution to support and make them successful at what they do.
A lot of ISPs shortchanged their clients; giving less bandwidth than the real value paid for. What do you have to say about this?
Yes, some are bent on making quick money, but I will assume this is no longer feasible because anyone can check their speed using speedtest. Moreover, with the stringent SLAs and necessary tools to measure what level of service is being delivered at clients’ end in place, you really cannot try that in the corporate world. With bandwidth management software, you can view at a glance what your ISP is bringing to you. It is important to do business on platform of integrity which is part of our core values at Zeta-Web
What are the challenges in this industry?
In view of the current economic situation, cost of running businesses in Nigeria is very high and in order to survive, lots of companies are cutting costs, and introducing measures to limit bandwidth usage and increased churn level due to mass migration of many manufacturing companies out of Nigeria. ISPs also contend with the cost of obtaining government licenses to operate while there are inadequate government regulations to control and set boundaries for players at different levels of activities in the industry.