Amobia, the brief history

I wrote an email over the weekend to give a potential employee some background about Amobia. Today I figured it could be good material for a blog posting. Amobia is looking for Senior Systems Engineer(s), so if you read this, you get a twinkle in your eye and you’ve got the balls, erm.. guts for pushing the (wireless) envelope please contact us. Only the brave.

Here’s the background…

Amobia is just over 1 year old. Our first client was connected in October 2005. It’s a young company, but it is showing very nice growth.

In the short time Amobia has been running we have built up an impressive customer list, this includes.. Datapro, Storm, Truworths (incl. Uzzi), Pepcor, Pam Golding Properties, BP, Swist Group (of MXiT fame), WP cricket, call-centres, a number of hotels, wine farms, about 50 schools (at last count) and our most interesting project at the moment: Pick ‘n Pay, for which we are aiming to connect all their stores in the Western Cape. We have partnerships with Arivia.kom and Verizon Business and Amobia has the backing of three partner companies: Frogfoot, Blio and Cape PC Services.

Wow, that was a mouth-full (-:

How do we manage to get ISPs to use our services you may be wondering? We’ll we have an “inclusive” business model. In the corporate and business market Amobia does not offer any IP transit services. We are purely a Last Mile Infrastructure provider.

These are exciting times. Amobia is franchising and the model has been proven to be successful. The legal environment is rapidly changing and we are a part of that change. Amobia is busy planning it’s network deployment in Joburg. There are very interesting challenges of interconnecting WISPs, reselling, and roaming. This is ground breaking stuff.

I believe we as a company and as an industry are doing pioneering work in the outdoor wireless space. I’m confident we are leaders in technology and innovation compared to the rest of Africa and even the US.

In some ways Amobia is close to the point where we need to clean up our act to “go big” and refine some of our initial design choices. Amobia 2.0 (:

We’re looking at improving the management systems, the LDAP logic, the VPN model needs a Radius layer, we’d like 802.1X support, we’d like to look at using OLSR to improve on OSPF. We’d like to add a WiFi roaming product (which we are currently working on). We’d like to dump Mikrotik if at all possible and use our own Linux routers… this will make our network 100% home-grown, proudly designed in Cape Town. We need a WiFi meshing solution for large areas like housing complexes.

We need people who can consume all the complexity of this network.. wireless technologies, VPNs, dynamic routing, x509 auth, Radius, LDAP, monitoring… etc. and help design and shape its future. Not many people have the gift of seeing this big a picture and producing clear workable solutions to problems.

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