Sahara Net eyes expansion
Saudi Arabian ISP ramps up expansion in its home country and considers entering new markets
Sahara Net, Saudi Arabia's leading ISP for the corporate and business sector, is ramping up expansion in its home country and plans to expand into new markets across the Middle East region, according to Kais Al-Essa, operations and technical services manager.
The ambitious plans follow closely from a deal in August that saw European investment firm Sahara International Ventures (SIV) acquire a majority stake in Sahara Net, for an undisclosed sum.
"Our goal is to grow Sahara Net into a major player in the Kingdom and region, and hopefully we are looking at acquiring more ISPs in the business and other different businesses that complement our organisation. We are already in discussions but they are not finalised," Al-Essa told CommsMEA. "We are also looking to to grow the company organically by investing in specific areas organisations," he added.
The company, which started services in 1994 as one of the first companies to offer internet services to the public in Saudi Arabia, is also eyeing the cloud computing sector, with plans to expand into the virtualisation and cloud computing space.
"We are the largest hosting player in the Gulf region, we provide all kinds of hosting services, from basic shared hosting to co-location and managed services, and recently we have been going into cloud computing using virtualisation and other kinds of services," Al-Essa said.
"We are mostly corporate. We shifted our focus from consumer to business in the last six years because we saw that the residential sector was actually not for us," Al-Essa added.
"Our services are in four main classes: connectivity, security, optimisation, and hosted services."
Sahara Net, which is operator neutral, has ambitious plans to grow in KSA and the region, both by acquisition and organically, Al-Essa said.