Industrial and commercial communications operator Metacom has invested significantly in upgrading its core network to meet increasing customer needs, says MD, Réan van Niekerk.

“We specialise in providing integrated, highly available communications to support critical business needs like electronic transactions, machine-to-machine communications and electronic control systems,” says Van Niekerk.

“Over the past few years, our customers have come to rely more heavily on our infrastructure ? and at the same time, their information needs are evolving. A retail customer that might have used 100MB per store per month a few years ago now easily needs 1GB per month.”

In response, Van Niekerk says: “We have invested in making our core infrastructure more robust and resilient, with particular focus on failover and backup sites in case of disaster. Our services are now spread across multiple hosting facilities, any one of which can act as a primary site. We can virtually guarantee uninterrupted uptime on our core infrastructure.”

This resilient core network mirrors the reliability of Metacom’s last-mile links to customer sites, even the most remote and inaccessible. The company designs, develops and manufactures its own range of intelligent routers and modems, offering automatic failover between multiple communications media such as ADSL, fibre, satellite and GSM. Individual devices as well as the core network are monitored around the clock from the Metacom International Operations Centre in Cape Town.

“We’ve always had exceptional uptime,” notes Van Niekerk. “Our latest investment ensures we will continue to maintain that record, while keeping up with increasing customer requirements and data throughput.”

Van Niekerk says media accounts for most of the increased data needs. “The type of data and content that moves across the network is changing. Many of our customers are now offering remote training for their staff, interactive kiosks for their customers, streaming media in stores and other content. Increasingly it is cheaper to move content across a network than move people around the country.”