Altonet was established as IDWS, or Internet Design and Web Services, in 1998 by two young Internet entrepreneurs, as one of the first ISP’s. It was established as an internet service provider, primarily to provide website design and hosting for small businesses. It also began to take on subscribers for its dial-up services for email and internet which became the backbone of the company. It was very successful in its uptake of subscribers, and the company grew from its humble beginnings.
In early 2005, the company took on an outside investor, and the business was transferred into a newly registered company called Alto Network Communications (Pty) Ltd. The investor later sold its interest to a telecommunications company quoted on the ALTx of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.
In February 2008, a director of that quoted company, Gareth Tudor, bought it’s shareholding in Altonet, as it had decided that an internet service provider was not part of its core operations. Shortly thereafter, the original shareholders sold the most of the balance of their shares in Altonet to him.
In September 2008, the company name was changed to Altonet (Pty) Ltd in order to align the legal name with the trading name. In October 2008, Mandla Madi, a business consultant, joined the compay and took up shares, and in November 2009, the original shareholders sold the balance of their shares, leaving Gareth and Mandla as the only shareholders.
Late 2008, Altonet was first introduced to Iron Mountain – a data backup and restore product set for servers (LiveVault) and for pc’s and notebooks (Connected). Iron Mountain was then the largest storage company of customer information, both physical and digital, in the world. This began a long relationship with what are undoubtedly amongst the best products in that area of IT in the world. In 2011, the digital storage business of Iron Mountain was bought by Autonomy – which was then the second largest pure software company in Europe, and based in Cambridge, U.K. Autonomy was, in turn, bought by Hewlett Packard Company, or HP, in 2012, and LiveVault and Connected are now being integrated into the HP Data Protector suite of products. Altonet is now the lead value-added reseller of HP Autonomy LiveVault and Connected in Southern Africa, for which Altonet has a dedicated team of professionals to serve its customers. In addition, Altonet is now an HP hardware reseller, offering hardware at very competitive pricing.
In September 2010, Altonet moved from its original premises near Northcliff to its current offices in Rosebank. These are situated in a building called 158 Jan Smuts Avenue, which is one of the very large telecoms hubs in Johannesburg, housing, amongst others, an Internet Solutions data centre. At the same, Altonet closed its own data centre and relocated it to Teraco in Isando – the largest independent data centre company in South Africa. All major telecoms companies are represented in Teraco, where Altonet also peers with the internet exchange known as NAPAfrica. Altonet is also located in Teraco in Rondebosch, Cape Town.
In 2012, Altonet established a “vault” for its cloud-based data storage using HP Autonomy LiveVault, where it is now storing over 25Tb’s of customers data. A second, mirrored, vault is located in Vodacom Business data centre in Midrand for DR purposes.
Altonet continues to provide inexpensive bandwidth to its customers as well as APN’s and data centre hosting services.
Altonet is now run by Gareth as CEO, while Mandla concentrates on Business Development, and they are both passionate about providing the best data protection by cloud storage to South African entities, as well more bandwidth to a country that has been starved of good connectivity. They are proud of the partnerships they have developed with HP Autonomy for data backup and restore, and Beachhead Solutions for encryption security – both essential cloud-based services in the a world of so much dependency on digital media.
Altonet services a wide range of entities, from quoted companies to SME’s. Its customer lists include:
Johannesburg, July 2013
3rd Floor158 Jan Smuts AveRosebank, South Africa+27 010 500 1500
Started in 1997, ALTONet has fast become one of South Africa's leading first tier Web Hosting and Data Networking companies offering world class Internet services on one of the most advanced dedicated network environments in South Africa.