iWay partners with Google and worries about 5G

Henry Salzmann, Head of Marketing; Dejan Crvenkovic, Head of Sales; Matthias Oswald, Managing Director and Matthias Cramer, CTO (from left). (Source: Network Media)

The ISP iWay has presented its business figures for 2018 in Zurich and given a look into the future. In addition to end customers, the partner business remains the mainstay of the company. As part of the takeover by the St. Gallisch-Appenzellischen power plants, a partnership with Google came about.

The Internet Service Provider (ISP) iWay has presented its figures for the financial year 2018 at a media conference in Zurich. Managing Director Matthias Oswald announced a 22 percent increase in sales to just over 26 million Swiss francs. In its largest business unit, Internet Access, iWay achieved an increase of 29 percent to 15.9 million francs. In the business segment VoIP, the plus was 41 percent to 5.8 million Swiss francs. At a high level, the development slowed down somewhat (2017: +34 percent). But in absolute terms, growth is stable, Oswald said.

Central pillar partner business

More than half (52.8 percent) of its revenue is generated today by iWay in its partner business. This grew by 27.2 percent in 2018. On the one hand, the company uses the “Sales Partner” model, in which the partner company brokers the products of iWay to the end customer, said sales manager Dejan Crvenkovic. In the “Wholesale Partner” model, the partner acts as a provider and uses the iWay infrastructure. iWay currently has 97 Sales and 163 Wholesale Partners.

IWay was satisfied with the partnership service “Virtual ISP” introduced in 2018, Oswald added. The service enables wholesale partners to set up and manage automated fiber and DSL orders on all city networks and the Swisscom network for their customers on a partner portal, without having to set up network connections themselves and to conclude contracts with Swisscom or other city networks. The offer is aimed, for example, at companies that want to re-appear as ISP themselves.

The number of customers, with iWay counting partners as individual customers, has risen to more than 21,000 over the past year. The provider differentiates itself here by attractive prices, profits from the technological draft horses glass fiber and all-IP migration and offers better support than the competition. Especially the switch to glass fiber is a growth driver. However, an end to the network construction is already foreseeable here. Accordingly, iWay expects slightly weaker growth of 20 percent for 2019.

Google certifications are pending

iWay has been wholly owned by the St. Gallisch-Appenzellische Kraftwerke (SAK) since 2017. Through cooperation between the parent company and Google, a number of new data center services have become possible, Oswald continued. The recently concluded cloud interconnect partnership between SAK and Google enables SAK’s subsidiaries iWay and RZO (Rechenzentrum Ostschweiz) to offer cloud services based on a direct connection to it.

This gives iWay customers the opportunity to expand their private enterprise networks or parts thereof into the Google Cloud. The hybrid solutions could be sourced from either RZO servers or Google data centers. iWay has set itself the goal to expand its services in the areas of cloud migration and infrastructure with Google and strive for the necessary Google certifications.

What iWay will do in the future

The integration under the roof of the SAK was smooth despite cultural differences at the beginning, said Oswald. The cooperation was good, the SAK made iWay. The data center Eastern Switzerland in Gais is a supplement of the previous locations Glattbrugg and Zurich Altstetten. In addition, the RZO is state of the art, such as cooling and emergency power.

At the end of the media discussion, iWay commented on the topics that are currently important for the company. The current discussion, whether with the introduction of 5G a competition to the glass fiber arises, saw managing director Oswald relatively calm. He does not believe that 5G will become a replacement technology. There are still too many question marks around the next mobile generation. In addition, the bandwidth of glass fiber massively larger, and emission-free.

In partnership with Swisscom, iWay also intends to introduce connections with the XGS-PON technology, which offer transmission speeds of 10 gigabits per second and are offered by Salt. The challenge of the ISPs anyway is not the bandwidth of the fiber, but the low speed of WLAN at the end customer. Finally, the impending merger in the Swiss telecom market is also driving the ISP. “We hope that Sunrise and UPC will focus on themselves over the next two years,” said Oswald.

Original Article Source from https://www.netzwoche.ch/news/2019-03-13/iway-partnert-mit-google-und-macht-sich-gedanken-ueber-5g