Wananchi Group, Africa’s provider of triple-play (broadband, multi-channel cable television and voice telephony) and VSAT (broadband data and internet) services, has signed a contract for the purchase of Cisco network technology solutions and services in East Africa.

The agreement is supported by Cisco Capital, a subsidiary of Cisco Systems, specializing in providing financing solutions.

Wananchi Group, currently the only triple-play operator in East Africa, will roll-out its new services in nine countries in the eastern African region – Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Malawi, Ethiopia, Sudan and Zambia.

According to the companies, the contract will also enable the Wananchi Group to deploy Cisco’s integrated end-to-end network technology solutions, encompassing Cisco’s Borderless Networks, Collaboration as well as Data Centre Virtualisation solutions, as their customer base expands and technology advances.

Cisco has been selected as the Wananchi’s preferred supplier as the full end to end network solution provider encompassing the access technologies (fibre and cable), IP Core Infrastructure, Optical Transport up to Video Head-End, Data Centre and Multimedia Set Top Boxes.

The companies also informed that under this agreement, they will provide “a number of innovative and competitive managed and hosted communications and collaboration services for residential, corporate and government sectors.”

“The Wananchi Group’s key objective is to expand our portfolio, enhance our commercial proposition, revenues and reputation. Cisco will help us to continuously deliver the necessary technology enhancements to our infrastructure to service our ever growing customer needs and remain at the forefront of delivering new and innovative services to our customers,” said Mark Schneider, group chairman, the Wananchi Group.

Paul Mountford, President for Cisco’s Emerging Markets, stated: “This agreement with Wananchi is significant for Cisco’s business in Africa because it demonstrates our strong business partnership and consultancy capabilities beyond just being an end-to end network solutions technology provider. This is becoming increasingly important for our customers in Africa where we are witnessing major developments in the information, communications and technology (ICT) landscape.”

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