At the start of 2018 we looked back at 2017 to evaluate our year and could only draw one conclusion: 2017 has been a good year. Despite fierce competition, Castor Networks has won over valuable customers in both land and maritime businesses, the number of employees grew to more than 60, and the majority of our employees are now international and spread out over offices in seven countries worldwide! Let’s have a look at the highlights of the year and what 2018 has in store for us.
Implementation of Watum
In our maritime domain we implemented the acquisition of Watum. Not only did we add experienced and certified maritime installers on our payroll, they brought interesting customers to our portfolio, such as Boskalis. We also managed to secure the win of the Wagenborg tender and early this year we won our first direct contract with Shell for 2 major vessels. For 2018 our collaboration with Watum will bring more contracts on other fleets, while our new office in Nice is generating new superyacht business.
Growth in South Sudan
Despite fierce competition, our business in South Sudan continues to grow. Castor is widely considered as the number 2 ISP in the country, including Billboard campaigns and radio commercials. We are proud to have become the market leader in the NGO market, where we have been able to win big tenders like Cordaid (in 3 countries), DRC, Care, and of course UNOPS. UNOPS selected Castor as the most capable ISP, naming our support and knowledge as a major aspect - Castor has proven to be a trusted partner as we are also managing the wireless network for 400 British soldiers spread over 2 camps.
New HQ office in Africa
During the last months of the year Castor has firmly established itself in the DRC with a new headquarter office in Kinshasa, and appointing a country manager and sales manager. Most importantly for our African strategy, we have forged powerful partnerships to create national presence and deliver fiber connectivity in Kinshasa and Lubumbashi, which enables us to participate in large tenders which require national presence. The first site on fiber/microwave has been connected on 1 December 2017. We also added local presence in the Central African Republic with a small office, as NGO’s are showing interest in a professional ISP in Bangui. We recently received an order for 3 C-band sites from WFP.
Castor in 2018
Our customer portal continues to impress our customers. This means we will continue to invest in development of IT tools. In 2018 we will focus on managing the LAN of the customer. The customar portal will be extended with tools to provide insight into the user/device behaviour, as well as application usage. With our brand new Voyager Platform, Castor will be able to manage IP traffic and assure the expensive satellite connection is only used for what was intended. This will be integrated into the customer portal.