Africa’s Vast WiFi system closing

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The business behind Vast Networks, Africa’s largest WiFi network, is liquidating the company. It will cease trading this week.

Vast was backed by pay-TV operator MultiChoice (owning 49 per cent) and Dimension Data Holdings (owning 51 per cent, a subsidiary of Japan’s Nippon Telegraph & Telephone), but rescue talks have been going on for some 18 months as the business sought new investors.

“No agreement could be concluded, and the board is satisfied that all alternative options have now been exhausted,” a spokesman for Vast told Bloomberg. “Despite all our efforts, a sustainable and profitable business model could not be established, and the company continued to incur monthly trading losses almost from its inception.”

Vast was launched in 2015 with the intention to supply WiFi throughout Southern Africa on an open-access basis, and selling WiFi bundles and mobile advertising on its portal. It won support from hospitals, shopping centres, hotels and restaurants and similar hot-spots.


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