Jonas Birgersson is the founder and owner of ViaEuropa International, the world’s first OSEO which created the world’s first “open gigabit”. VEI is currently operating an ecosystem of more than a 100 networks with more then 120 Service Providers in 8 countries. VEI is also currently building the national “open gigabit network” in Israel.

Often touted as a global serial entrepreneur in the telecom, Internet and broadband services , he is founder of the Swedish broadband ISP, Bredbandsbolaget, which got sold to Telenor for $1b in 2005.
He is also the founder of Internet consultancy Framfab (IPO in 1999 with € 4b market cap). Further, Mr Bigersson is Co-founder of RELAKKS, the leading Scandinavian provider of anonymous IP and he is the founder of Labs2 International that provide cloud based E2E BSS / OSS for OSEO.

Jonas Birgersson studied military history, GIS-systems & military intelligence theory at Lund University. He is the recipient of the Global Leader of Tomorrow, as well as Tech Pioneer at the World Economic Forum Awards.

He is a familiar face as a speaker, and an expert on topics pertaining to the internet and broadband. His life goal is: Fibre to All!!



Richard Came is an ICT entrepreneur who has been active in the South African and international market since the 1980’s.

Some of his more notable ventures include co-founding Dimension Data, Dark Fibre Africa and the Protocol and the Archway Venture Partner venture capital funds. He is the chairman of the Tradebridge Group which supplies value added transaction switching solutions and is an active investor in a number of other IT and telecommunications companies. He currently serves as President of the FTTH Council Africa.



Hassan Dayfallah is the Technical Director across Viavi Solutions’ Fiber Optics, Metro and Access portfolios in the Middle East & Africa region. Since 2014, Hassan has served as a consultant for major operators across the region and has helped them simplify their overall network deployments. Previously, he was a Systems Architect with Ciena’s R&D labs in Ottawa for 8 years with a focus on long-haul optical networks.



Jeffrey has honed his skills in the fixed and mobile telecommunication industries for the past 15 years. With strong technical and commercial experience, Jeffrey is proficient in understanding the operational and executive requirements for network operators.

He has worked on several projects where he was responsible for demonstrating technical and commercial understanding in the realms of network optimisation, network expansion and budgeting.

Jeffrey is a self-starter that’s able to adapt quickly to existing business infrastructures by leveraging international experience, ambition, passion and a will to win. It’s what enables Jeffrey to ensure world-class client delivery and he continues to develop his skillset to remain current with ever-changing world trends.



Currently the MD/CEO of Backbone Connectivity Network Nigeria Limited (BCN), a private company that secured NCC Licenses to build and operate metropolitan and long distance fiber optic transmission networks in Nigeria. BCN provides network transmission connectivity links with triple play capacity for voice, data, Internet and video services.

Prior to this, he was MD/CEO of Hambali Investments Limited, an investment holding company, having interests in Financial Services, Power Sector, Construction, Real Estate, Technology Infrastructure, Oil and Gas assets and Consultancy Services.

He is part of an investor group lead by Lenux Integrated Resources that, through the first private sector led acquisition of a publicly quoted company, became the core strategic investor of Eterna Plc, a quoted downstream petroleum marketing company, provided the change management that implemented the turnaround plan and strategy that saw Eterna Plc value grow turnover from N250m per year to over N12bn and its market capitalization from N150m to a high of N20bn.

He has an accumulated 22 years of practical experience in the downstream oil and gas industry both in the public and private sectors, holding management and senior positions in Eterna Plc, PPMC, IDSL across several functions in accounting and commercial operations divisions, covering such areas as depot accounts and sales, credit sales schemes for independent oil marketers, strategic product import/export planning, financial management, internal controls & audit and import/export products operations management. He also had extensive training and experience in international product trade, lubricants & petrochemical business and supply &distribution chain management.



Chief Executive Officer, Brandon, was one of Convergence Partners founding partners in 2006 and has run Convergence Partners since inception. He has more than 25 years of investment banking and private equity experience. Prior to Convergence Partners, he spent 5 years with Nedbank Group Limited, where he was head of Investment Banking and an Executive Committee member at Nedbank Capital where his areas of responsibility included Nedbank’s M&A, private equity and deal origination activities. Prior to joining Nedbank, Brandon was head of Corporate Finance and Project Equity Finance at FBC Fidelity (an empowered small cap bank) for 3 years where he was involved in a number of milestone BEE transactions. Prior to FBC Fidelity, Brandon spent 5 years in the Corporate Finance team of Anglo American.

Brandon serves on the boards of directors of a number of companies in the Convergence Partners portfolio as well as on numerous board sub-committees focusing particularly on strategy and finance issues. Brandon also serves on the board of the FTTH Council Africa.



Mr. Fitzsimmons is a 20 year veteran of telecommunications specializing in network deployment and system integrations.  He has consulted and managed technology strategy selection, deployment methodology integration, detailed solution planning and delivery engagement frameworks for clients in the NAFTA and EMEA markets.  He is the head of engineering services for Corning and holds an MBA from the University of Denver.



Envir serves as the Convergence Partners’ executive responsible for strategy, regulatory, policy and research in addition to being a deal principal on transactions and assisting portfolio companies on matters related to ICT policy, regulation and market research. As deal principal, my responsibilities are in the area of portfolio management working with the executive teams of portfolio companies to realise the growth and expected exit and returns for Convergence partners.

Prior to joining Convergence Partners, Envir worked in the South African public sector for 10 years which included 5 years at the Department of Communications (DOC) responsible for Internet and telecommunications policy and legislation. Following his time at the DOC, Envir was the research and development manager at the Meraka Institute, a ICT research and development institute based at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), whose establishment he was intimately involved with.

Envir serves on the Boards of some of Convergence Partners portfolio companies, as a Trustee of the Convergence Partners Foundation and various advisory committees which includes Meraka Institute’s Research Advisory Panel, FTTH Council Africa’s regulatory and policy advisory committee and management committee if the Wi-Fi Forum of South Africa.

1. Stanford Executive Programme (June – August 2013)
2. University of Kwazulu-Natal, Postgraduate Diploma in Management (2001)
3. University of the Western Cape, BA (hons) political studies (1994)
4. University of Cape Town, BSocSci, political studies and sociology (1991-1993)



Heather Gold is the President of the FTTH Council The Americas. She is a dynamic, results oriented senior telecommunications executive with a track record of successfully managing organizations requiring cross-industry and cross-functional coordination.

Heather is a recognized leader in the areas of broadband deployment, public policy and cost management. Her specialties include: Strategic planning and execution, Executive leadership of trade associations, Public policy strategy, Industry Coalitions, Cost of Service Management, P&L management



Vino Govender is a Chartered Marketer (SA) and seasoned strategic marketer in the ICT and TMT space with more than 16 years of strategic marketing experience in the B2C and B2B marketing space respectively.

His experience spans across the areas of Marketing, Product Management, Strategy, Marketing Research and Insights, Customer Experience, PR & Media Relations, Corporate Communications & Stakeholder Management and Corporate Strategy disciplines.

Vino has published various market reports on converged solutions, corporate ICT adoption and mobile consumer application adoption. He has extensive experience in designing, developing and commercialising Enterprise Customer Value propositions across multi-industry channels-to-market, spanning fixed and mobile voice, data and ICT solutions and has lead the go-to-market strategy formulation and execution. Vino brings a wealth of experience in designing and driving enterprise products and services developing rich customer propositions.



Pieter Grootes is a practising economist with over 10 years’ experience in economic policy, large-scale infrastructure pricing (electricity and telecommunications), regulation-making and stakeholder engagement. His experience includes the determination and enforcement of reduced mobile termination rates, designing a spectrum fees regime and conducting reviews of government industrial policy programmes.

Pieter has held several senior and executive management and strategic responsibilities. He has also played a lead role in communicating technical issues to different stakeholder groups including the media, industry, Parliament and international audiences. He holds a Masters Degree in Economics.



Gilberto was born in Argentina, where he graduated as an Industrial Engineer in 1976 from UCA Buenos Aires, with Honor Diploma and was granted the CAI “Patricio Shanley Award for Overall Engineering Studies Performance”. He also got his post-Graduate title in Advanced Management from UNC Chapel Hill, USA.

This year, he will have spent 35 years with COMMSCOPE in several positions comprising Sales, Product Management, Project Management, Marketing and Business Development in several locations including Argentina, Spain, ASIA, and the USA where he is based now. He is presently running FTTx Business Development for the AMERICAS. Gilberto has now well over 25 years of experience in Telecommunications.

Gilberto became an active member of the Fiber To The Home Council in 2008, and is also a Certified Fiber Installer by the Electronics Technicians Association International. His passion for international business development got him speaking fluent English, Spanish and Portuguese as well as business French and Italian.

Together with a group of US and Latin American professional volunteers, Gilberto launched the LATIN AMERICA Chapter of the FTTH Council AMERICAS, where he served firstly as the Chairman for the Technology Committee, then as Chapter President for 5 years, finally as the Finance Chairman for his last post as a Chapter Officer for the 2015-2016 period. He was awarded the FTTH Council Americas “Photon” distinction twice for his dedicated efforts to establish FTTH in LATAM, in 2009 and in 2012.He was responsible for structuring and delivering the first official FTTH LATAM Chapter Professional and Technician courses with certification in 2011, and he continues to be a volunteer Master Instructor at the Chapter.



Ellie Hagopian is CEO of Nomosphere South Africa, a systems integrator and managed services provider based in Johannesburg that delivers value-added services over telecommunications networks. She has also been elected as Chairperson to the Wireless Access Provider Association and currently serves as Treasurer of the organisation. She is also a Maxum Mentor at The Innovation Hub in Pretoria.

Her specific areas of interest and expertise are strategy development, product management, communications, value chain optimisation, and systems design. Prior to moving to South Africa in 2010, Ellie ran product management for SaaS company Exit41, just north of Boston. She holds an MBA from Babson College (ranked number one in the USA for entrepreneurship for 21 consecutive years by U.S. News and World Report).



André is a seasoned Telecommunications practitioner, having worked in the industry for more than 35 years. He has planned, built, operated and managed all tiers and segments of the network while working for leading service providers in South Africa and Mauritius. He has a broad understanding of the multi-faceted Information and Communications Technology service delivery chain and specialises in leveraging high capacity optical fibre based technologies for the delivery of high capacity carrier class networks and services.
Andre has a National Higher Diploma in Electrical Engineering (Telecommunications) and an MBA (cum-laude) from the University of Natal.

André is Past President of the South African Institute of Electrical Engineers (SAIEE) and is registered with the Engineering Council of South Africa as a Professional Technologist and is also a member of the Fiber To The Home Council Africa technical committee and a member of the IEEE South Africa Section.

Currently he is Head of Special Projects at Link Africa (Pty) Ltd. Which is a managed metro dark fibre service provider in the South African telecommunications market.



Arif Hussain has a wide range of experience initiating and overseeing large-scale telecommunications development projects. He has been CEO of FibreCo since inception of the joint venture 6 years ago. FibreCo owns and operates an open-access fibre-optic network across South Africa and provides bespoke connectivity solutions ranging from fibre ownership to high capacity and complex managed networking solutions in support of wholesale and enterprise clients. This allows clients to realise the benefits of the massive scalability inherent in high-quality, ultra-fast fibre-optic networks at a small fraction of the cost of deploying such infrastructure nationally.

Spanning over 4,000 km, FibreCo’s state-of-the-art access network consists of underground fibre routes and carrier-grade equipment hosting facilities interconnecting over 50 points of presence country-wide including major data centres in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Bloemfontein, Durban, Port Elizabeth, East London, amongst many others.

Hussain’s track record in the ICT sector also includes the role of CEO of Convergence Wireless Networks, where he was appointed to build a new portfolio of investments into wireless broadband operators on the African continent, as well as a range of financial and developmental positions within the MTN Group culminating with the role of Chief Financial Officer of one of MTN’s largest ever start-up mobile network operations, located in the Middle East. Hussain holds the following qualifications:

• Master of Business Administration (Wits Business School)
• Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants (England and Wales)
• Master in Philosophy in Management Studies (Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge)
• Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering (Hons) (University of Manchester)



With more than 17 years in telecommunications industry, Eduardo has occupied senior positions in different major companies for the segment. As Solution Architect, Eduardo has developed his skills executing projects in most of the layers of telecom systems, from infrastructure to applications. After 10 year as CTO of a Service Provider in Argentina, Eduardo spent one year as Commercial Manager for the Utilities market in a regional telecom solutions supplier. Eduardo joined CommScope Inc (former BNS TE Connectivity) in 2013 as Business Development Manager for the Andean Region. In 2014 he became Market Manager for South American Region and since 2015 he is Network Architect for CALA Region.  From this position, Eduardo provides support on strategy for network evolution to the most important Service Providers in CALA.

Committed with the promotion and development of the broadband connectivity in Latin America, Eduardo joined the FTTH Council Americas, LATAM Chapter in 2009. In this organization he occupied the positions of Finance and Technology Chairman and currently he holds the Presidency of the Board of Directors and is CFHP Master Instructor.

From this position, he has had the chance to participate in several initiatives of broadband development, for instance, being member advisor at the steering committee for Inter-American Development Bank’s public document “Bridging Gaps, Building Opportunities”.

Eduardo holds a Telecommunications Engineering degree and has had the chance to participate as speaker in different thought leadership panels at the most relevant industry events all across the Americas.



Peter Macaulay has taken up the position of President, FTTH Council Asia-Pacific since May 2015. Peter is also the CTO of the software systems integration firm ZDSL Networks Sdn Bhd ( ZDSL.com ) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Peter has lived and worked in Asia-Pacific for the past five years with previous assignments at Telekom Malaysia ( TM ) on the of Unifi GPON FTTH deployment as a Subject Matter Expert (SME) and End-to-End systems architect.

Peter is active in the Broadband Forum ( BBF ) and has worked extensively on the development of interoperability test documents including BBF.247 and TR-069 for service provider Customer Premises Equipment ( CPE ) management. Peter also tracks ITU-T standards for next generation PON (NG-PON) and IEC endface inspection standards including IEC 61300-3-35.



Alfie Martin studied Electrical Engineering (LC) at Technikon Witwatersrand. After completion of his studies he joined industry whist completing the practical part of his Diploma. It is here that his love for the industry developed and where he started developing as an entrepreneur. He has over the past twenty years used his Electronics Engineering background as foundation for the Electronic Security and Fibre-to-the-Home Industries, and is considered by many a fellow entrepreneur and pioneer by being a cutting-edge adopter of ground-breaking concepts and technologies.

Over the past twenty years he has continually invested in himself by completing various leadership, project management, marketing and sales courses with the Gordon Institute of Business amongst others. His current focus is to use the vast knowledge and experience gained over this time to establish and build sustainable, long-term ventures and partnerships in his field of choice.



Strini brings extensive ICT/Telecommunications experience to Vodacom as an EHOD: FTTX Sales. He is an accomplished Senior Manager -Service Solutions & Business Development within the ICT / Telecommunications industry. Strini holds 25 years of dedicated tenure within the Wholesale Services area of Telkom, presently operating under Openserve for Wholesale Business Solutions. With 16 years sales and technical experience, 8 years out of which at senior level in the Telecommunications Industry focusing on Sales, Business Solutions and most recently FTTH; Strini applied his considerable knowledge to drive sales and marketing, manage stakeholder relationships, perform risk assessments and implement effective solutions for large scale market growth.

Extensive experience in strategic Customer Specific Solutions at National level enabled Strini to maintain robust networking capacity; and implement well-defined strategies in a value adding and sustainable manner. He holds key knowledge of SA ICT markets, Regulatory landscape and relevant technical concepts. Strini furthermore worked alongside decision makers to establish sales opportunities; and he tracks & analyses Revenue trends in generating relevant market penetration.



Roland Montagne is the Principal Analyst and Director Market Development for iDate based in Paris, France. His vast knowledge of FTTH penetration on a global level has seen him being invited as speaker all over the world.

Since 1977, IDATE DigiWorld has been recognized, based on the capabilities of its specialized investigation teams, as a reliable resource for tracking telecom, Internet and media markets. With strong support from its members, represented by nearly 50 major players in the digital economy, the Institute, under the name of DigiWorld, has started a new phase in its development based on three lines of business:

  1. DigiWorld Research, an independent observer whose vocation is to provide active surveillance of the digital economy, to collect pertinent data and offer reference analysis on the markets and innovations in the telecommunications, Internet and media markets, through a complete catalogue of reports and monitoring services.
  2. IDATE Consulting, analysis and consulting capabilities. Our team of economists and engineers has established their credibility and their independence by completing hundreds of research assignments requested each year by the major industry players and public authorities.
  3. DigiWorld Institute, a European forum open to the world. The DigiWorld Institute showcases all of IDATE’s initiatives such as the DigiWorld Summit, the DigiWorld Yearbook and the monthly Clubs established in London, Paris and Brussels. It offers its members the opportunity to participate in collaborative research programmes on the industry’s major future problems by mobilising external expert resources and its own teams.


Jacob Munodawafa is an Engineer by Profession, works for Southern Africa Telecommunications Association (SATA) as the Executive Secretary and Chief Executive Officer and has many years of experience working in the telecommunications industry. Academically he graduated with a Bachelor of Science Honours [BSc(Hons)] Degree from the University of Zimbabwe, a Master of Engineering [MEng] from the University of South Australia where his major was Mobile Communications, a Further Education Teachers Diploma (FETD) from Harare Polytechnic in Zimbabwe and a Master of Business Administration [MBA] from the University of Zimbabwe,

His organisation, SATA was established in 1980 in pursuant of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Treaty and the provisions of the SADC Protocol on Transport, Communications and Meteorology. SATA is a Specialised Institution of SADC on Telecommunications and ICTs and has a permanent Secretariat based in Maputo, Mozambique. The work of SATA includes focus on technology, business, policy and regulatory advocacy, human capital development and coordination of the development of regional ICT infrastructure and Services



Pape Ndaw is Vice-President Global Sales Strategy of CommScope. In that capacity, Pape leads the company’s effort on go-to-market strategies, digital sales, sales operations and customer satisfaction.

He has been working for CommScope (previously BNS – TE Connectivity) for the last 6 years. Prior to CommScope, Pape worked in various industries including Automotive, Energy Management and Strategy Consulting. He has capitalized a broad international experience working and living in Senegal, France, Finland, China, USA and Belgium.

Pape holds a Master Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Bordeaux (France) as well as an MBA from HEC Paris (France).



Andile Ngcaba is the founder and Chairman of Convergence Partners Investments and the Executive Chairman of Dimension Data Middle East & Africa (DDMEA).He is also an Internet technology investor and entrepreneur.

Andile holds a Master of Commerce, majoring in Information Systems, qualification from the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa. The University of Fort Hare honoured him with an honorary Doctorate in Commerce and Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University appointed him as an Adjunct Professor of the University, affiliated to the faculty of science.

Andile has actively been involved in public policy development at National, Continental and Global levels through his activities on various bodies including the ITU, ICANN and the African Union. In his international organisational activities, Andile served on the Board and High-level Panel (serving as the business sector chair) responsible for the outcomes of the Netmundial multi-stakeholder conference on Internet governance, hosted by the Brazilian government in April 2014.

He continues to serve in an advisory capacity to a number of national, regional and international policymaking bodies in the technology and science sectors. He also serves on the council of The National Advisory Council on Innovation (NACI).

Andile’s latest venture is the establishment of The Cortex Hub in East London, South Africa which will be competing globally in producing IT entrepreneurs who are able to develop local and global solutions.

Andile serves on the boards of a number of companies, these include:

  • – Dimension Data Middle East and Africa and subsidiaries
  • – Convergence Partners and several of its investment companies. Both Dimension Data and Convergence Partners are involved in internet related investments in Africa.
  • – Seacom, the first fiber-optic submarine cable to serve the East Coast of Africa. The focus is on increasing Africa’s access to affordable, accessible broadband services; and
  • – Convergence Partners was in a joint venture with Intelsat in building an African satellite New Dawn Satellite Company, Africa’s first private communication satellite service focused on ensuring and supporting Africa’s continued growth of broadband services with a purely African footprint and sold at a later stage.


Tim Parle is a Director and Senior Telecoms Consultant with BMI-T with over 25 years’ experience in the telecoms field obtained in Southern Africa and Western Europe.  Prior to joining BMI-T, Tim held the position of Director for Business Development for Lucent Technologies in South Africa where he was responsible for re-establishing Lucent’s presence on the African sub-continent.

Tim has worked in telecommunications since 1990 and has a diverse background including enterprise voice & data, digital microwave radio, fibre optic transmission, wireless, data networking and management systems.  Tim has worked for Eskom, Groupe Schneider, Redback Networks, Lucent Technologies and Alcatel-Lucent in a variety of technical and commercial roles.

British born, Tim grew up in South Africa and holds a B.Sc in Electronic Engineering from the University of Natal, South Africa and was registered as a Professional Engineer (Pr. Eng).  He has an MDP in Project Management from UNISA Business Schools and an MBA from the University of Bath, UK.



Dobek Pater has seventeen years’ experience in the telecoms industry and is currently a telecommunications analyst with Africa Analysis, working on a wide range of projects in Africa for a diverse client base. His previous experience includes working for a South African fibre optic cabling and systems integration company, later joining an ICT market research and advisory company in the capacity of a telecommunications analyst, and a short stint in the consumer product research field.

Dobek’s career in the telecommunications sector has exposed him to strategies and technologies used by various telecoms operators and service providers, as well as telecommunications market fundamentals. In his capacity as a telecommunications analyst he has been responsible for analysis of numerous telecommunications markets in Africa, and directly participated in major projects in close to twenty African countries.

Dobek has also presented at numerous shows and conferences in South Africa and other African countries on topics ranging from telecoms market opportunities to future technology applications. He is frequently quoted in the local and international media, and regularly appears on TV and radio shows.

Dobek concentrates on fixed line, mobile, and the internet markets, wholesale and retail markets, performing among others current market research and analysis, market forecasting, revenue forecasting, market modelling, and rendering advisory services.



Simon Roberts is the Sales Director for Africa and the Middle East for PPC Broadband Fiber, formerly m2fx. Simon has over 10 years of telecoms experience snapping both microwave and fiber technologies focused on tailored go to market solutions. Over the past three Simon has driven the introduction of Miniflex fiber technology in Africa, specialising in FTTH application to empower the local installer to help maximse the potential of fiber deployment in the continent.



Niel Schoeman is the co-founder and CEO of FTTH company, Vumatel. He is a serial entrepreneur who has a significant history in the South African fibre industry.

Niel has been part of the industry since its early days where he facilitated the rollout of fibre to connect cellular towers through his project management and consulting firm, the Birchman Group. Following the success of these projects, he co-founded Conduct, an open access last mile FTTB company which was later sold to Dark Fibre Africa. His experience in the industry has lead him to his current venture, Vumatel, which is rolling out an open access fibre to the home network in South Africa.



Professional career: an overview
• Degree in telecommunications engineering at the RWTH, Technical University of Aachen, Germany; graduating as Dipl.-Ing. in 1983
• 1983 to 1989: Scientific Assistant at the Institute for High Frequency Technology, RWTH, Technical University of Aachen, under
Prof. Dr. Hans Juergen Schmitt
• 1989: PHD at the Institute for High Frequency Technology, RWTH, Technical University of Aachen graduating with a Dr.-Ing. under Prof. Dr. Hans Juergen Schmitt with the thesis: “Integrated Optical Isolators”
• 1989 to 1997: R&D Engineer / Head of R&D at AEG Kabel (later Kabelrheydt and Alcatel Kabel) in Moenchengladbach, Germany, with responsibility for the development of fiber optic transmission systems for broadband communication
• Since 1997: Cofounder and Managing Director of the BKtel group of companies located in Hueckelhoven-Baal and Kornwestheim, Germany; BKtel communications Beijing Ltd., P.R. China; BKtel Pacific Rim, Yokohama, Japan;
BKtel Photonics SAS, Lannion, France
• Since 2007 actively engaged in International Standardization with main focus on “Fiber-to-the home-systems”, IEC 60728 (FTTH systems), and SCTE IPS/IHC WG5 (e.g. RFoG)



Mamello Selamolela is responsible for MTN SA’s FTTx and Digital Solutions strategy, including fixed broadband and digital operations and GTM. Mamello joined MTN Group in 2015, where she was Executive Assistant to the Group CEO, and later the Executive Chairman. In that role, she was a strategic advisor to the Group CEO and executive team, and was instrumental in developing and operationalising the Group Digital strategy.

She has played an active role in supporting strategy development at MTN SA, and managing a number of special projects in MTN Group and MTN SA. She joined MTN from McKinsey & Company, where she was a Senior Engagement Manager in their Johannesburg office. At McKinsey, Mamello led project teams serving clients on a wide range of strategy, operations and organisation topics. She served clients in SA, Nigeria and the UK, across a number of sectors including media, healthcare, oil and gas, education and economic development.

In addition to a BComm (Finance and Economics) and Master’s degree in Economics from the University of Cape Town, Mamello also holds an MBA (with distinction) from London Business School. She was the recipient of a number of prestigious scholarships and awards, including the Dean’s Merit Awards from both UCT and London Business School, the Mandela Economic Scholarship and Chevening Scholarship from the British Council.



Ms Shinn was appointed to Parliament April 22, 2009 as a member of the Democratic Alliance. She started off as Deputy Shadow Minister of both Science & Technology and Tourism. She was soon moved to a focused role as Shadow Minister of Science and Technology. Ms Shinn was appointed the Shadow Minister of Communication in February 2012, a role in which she still serves albeit under the title of Shadow Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services in the Fifth Parliament of democratic South Africa.

As an MP her main role is oversight of the new Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services, understanding its mandate, programmes of action, budget allocations to these programmes and to ensure the effective spending of funds. In addition, she has a mandate to ensure that public servants and organisations controlled by the department deliver on their mandates.

Further she is tasked with ensuring the enforcement of policies and laws that protect internet freedom while protecting privacy and IP; as well as ensuring freedom of expression and association that is the ethos of the internet. Her key deliverable is ensuring South Africa gets and maintains the best possible ICT infrastructure to grow the economy and jobs and thereby address poverty.



Mike Silber is Head Legal and Commercial at Liquid Telecom. He previously practiced as an independent ICT lawyer and consultant. Silber is recognised as a leading South African Internet and e-Commerce lawyer and as one of the foremost Technology, Media and Telecommunications lawyers in South Africa.

Mike is also the Treasurer of the South African Internet Service Providers’ Association and a director of the Tertiary Education and Research Network (RSA), African Digital Networks (DRC) and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (USA). He currently serves as a Director on the FTTH Council Africa board.



Marcel has been employed in telecommunications since 1995 with Sentech, Neotel and Vodacom since 2008. He holds a Masters degree in Town and Regional Planning (Stellenbosch) as well as a Masters degree in Economics (UJ).

Marcel has 17 years’ experience in product management across broadcasting, enterprise and consumer connectivity products via satellite, wireline and wireless access technologies. In Vodacom he was responsible for mobile consumer data product management as executive head and over 7 years saw the active data customer base grow from less than 5 million to in excess of 16 million data users and data revenue grow to more than 35% of company revenue.

In June 2015, Marcel was appointed as executive head of the FTTH product management team responsible for product development of all FTTH offerings. He and his team are looking forward to being part of a new data revolution, albeit a fixed line one.



Louisa Van Beek, ME for FTTx joined Vodacom in 1998 as Operations Manager for Globalstar. Over the past 16 years, she held a number of positions in the company, including short term assignments in both Ghana and Nigeria, where she held positions of COO and acting CEO for VBA. Most recently, Louisa held the position of ME for Mpumalanga.

FTTx is a term used to describe several configurations of communications architecture in which optic fibre is installed from a central point into homes, buildings etc to provide high speed internet access, unbeatable voice and entertainment experience from corporate customers to professional gamers and with Vast experience and knowledge from all areas of the business Louisa’s role is to consolidate Fibre to the Business (FTTB) in EBU and the Fibre to the Home (FTTH) in CBU into one business unit.



Johan van Dalen is the Executive for FTTH and NGN at Openserve, a Division of Telkom. Johan has more than thirty years’ experience in Telecommunications. As an Executive he has been involved in Broadband, Dispatch Centres as well as managing Field Forces on access and core networks.

Johan is a registered Professional Engineer and holds a Master’s in Business Leadership as well as a B. Eng (Electronics) degree.



Edgar van Essen holds an extensive record of experience, including:
– 20 years of commercial leadership (P&L) in high tech, global/EMEA region
– full P&L responsibility over multi-country regions, leading large teams.
– builder, hunter, strategist, visionary leader, customer focussed.
– turn around , restructuring management skills and track record achieving structural growth.
– business development: extensive track record in leading, spotting and building new sustainable revenue streams by thoroughly understanding and spotting market changing facts and anticipating rapidly with effective sales and business development strategies.
– All-round high tech / telecommunication experience (all OSI layers)
– well embedded in next gen Fiber/Fibre, FTTH, FTTx (glasvezel) segment
– transsectoral innovation (how to maximise and reuse innovation across different business models/industries)
– joint go to market models / strategic partnering/ alliances, OEM, (multi)channel and distribution management
– IT/ TI in vertical industries ; e.g. utility, oil& gas, defence, police, banking healthcare, transport, government, data centres etc.
– high end structured cabling solutions for office cabling , data centres and outside plant.



Abraham van der Merwe is the Chief Executive Officer of Frogfoot Networks, a fibre optic infrastructure company headquartered in Cape Town.

Abraham has co-founded and managed several successful companies in both the telecommunications and electronic manufacturing industries. These include Frogfoot Networks, Amobia Communications, Teraco Data Environments, Riberry Communications, and 4D Technology.

Abraham is a highly accomplished entrepreneur with more than 15 years’ experience in the telecoms industry and a unique blend of strong vision, technical ingenuity and salesmanship.

Bora Varilacgi, CEO DigitalThings


Bora Varliyagci is Head of Africa for the Digital Infrastructure Practice at Mott MacDonald. He has more than 17 years’ experience in global telecommunications markets including emerging markets from Asia, Central, Southern and Eastern Europe to Middle East and Africa.

Throughout his career, Bora has successfully set-up business divisions and new practices, established and managed large project teams in emerging market environments and pioneered strategic alliances and partnerships with both industry players and investors.



Frans achieved a Mech. Eng degree from the University of Stellenbosch and later was awarded a MBL from UNISA. He gained experience by working in the Aerospace and Defence sectors in both South Africa and the Middle and later migrated to the IT industry in working as Program Director for organisations such as Dimension Data, CSIR and Armscor.

In 2015, after changes to the Telecommunications Act was effected, he joined a group of visionary property developers to start ATEC Systems and Technologies, one of the first companies to install private telecommunications networks in gated communities. In 2007 it became clear that FTTH was the future of Telecommunications and ATEC installed its first FTTH network, using GON technology into Kindlewood Estate in KZN. This network is still operational today .

Frans served as COO/CTO, CEO and later as Business Development Director for ATEC, in which he is also a minority shareholder. He was also part of the original group that started the FTTH Council and an original Board member.



Richard Vester has been in the ICT industry since 1997. Since then Richard has been intimately involved in the service provider and communications industry in a sales, product development, operations and marketing roles. Richard has a deep understanding of the underlying market and the infrastructure, support and products required to deliver best of breed Converged Solutions to SA businesses.

Richard has worked for the leading ICT companies in South Africa and over the last five years has spear headed the strategy creation for a large telecommunications provider and applications provider in South Africa. He has specialised in the strategic development of solutions in cloud computing, infrastructure services, security & applications.

He is currently the Director of Cloud Services at EOH Mthombo.



Kobus Viloen qualified as a CA at Deloitte and Touche. He spent 10 years in the UK as an Investment banker with Hill Samual Bank and Standard Bank London before returning to South Africa in 1996. He continued his career at Standard Bank as Director, Global Head of Structured and Project Finance.

He started an investment banking operation Wipcapital for the empowerment group Wiphold. He also started a virtual retail bank based on cellphone technology for a joint venture between Standard Bank and Wipcapital which was later sold to MTN, and in Sept 2005 launched as MTN banking. True to his passion for technology he also developed the IP to streamline the capturing and management of contacts (this remains subject to a patent). Kobus joined Investec Bank Ltd in January 2008 in the Investment Banking division which specialises in private equity in the tech sector, where he is serving as Non-Executive Director on the boards of Vumatel, TarsusTechnologies, CMC Networks and Prowalco.

Former directorship include Vox Telecoms and KagisoTiso Holdings. In addition to his degree in finance he also attended the Singularity University executive management program in Jan 2014 with a focus on disruptive technologies. Kobus recently launched Seedbox, a non-profit organisation that has entered and will challenge for the Educational XPrize.



Louis Yssel is the Chief Executive Officer of InTouch24. He started his career in 1987 in the software development market in the manufacturing industry, originally in packaging and later in the motor industry. Louis joined a local Microsoft distributor to become the national support manager for the Microsoft environment in South Africa. In 1994 he was promoted to Technical Director, and later the group formed a Technical Professional Services Company, Workgroup Technology, of which he was the Managing Director until 1997.

In 1999 Louis started his own company focussing on consulting on communications infrastructure to the enterprise as well as systems integrators in South Africa, the Middle East and Europe. During this time, he started working on a project with Standard Bank and ended up spending 6 years on the project which included strategy, design and implementation. A large number of other projects has been delivered subsequently. After spending 30 years in the industry delivering solution to clients, Louis has developed a ground breaking suite to offer our various clients and markets.

His life motto: Technology Architecture and Unified Communications is the focus of my being.