Following hot on the heels of reports that rival mobile giant Vodacom South Africa is close to a takeover deal for second national operator (SNO) Neotel, ITWeb has reported that MTN South Africa is now considering a move for locally-owned internet service provider (ISP) Afrihost. Although MTN say it ‘does not comment on market speculation’, the two companies already boast strong ties, and a deal would make commercial sense for MTN. In October 2012 Afrihost moved its ADSL customer base from Internet Solutions’ infrastructure across to MTN’s custom-built network.
Afrihost was started in 2000 by CEO Gian Visser, Brendan Armstrong and Peter Meintjes, who were later joined by Greg Payne (former COO of Internet Solutions). Originally a web hosting and general IT services company, Afrihost joined the broadband market in 2009. In July 2011 it acquired rival ISP Axxess DSL, which is based in the city of Port Elizabeth and was founded in 1997 by Franco Barbalich.