Itec has partnered with Vodacom to provide mobile connectivity for participants in the Old Mutual joBerg2c challenge, one of the country’s favourite mountain bike stage races. This falls in line with Itec’s commitment to supporting sports in South Africa, and provides an ideal opportunity to showcase the versatility and reach of the company’s mobile technology solutions. 
The nine-day race winds its way from Johannesburg to Scottburgh on the KwaZulu-Natal coast, taking competitors from the heat and dust of the big city to the cool crisp air of the sea via spectacular mountainous passes.
Some 99,5% of the route is off-road, Subaru track, single track, rural secondary roads and very little district road. There is only about 10km of tar the entire 900km. The race attracts world-class cyclists, including the likes of FedGroup-Itec’s Kevin Evans.
At every stop, riders will have access to a high-speed WiFi network, provided by a satellite link to Vodacom’s mobile network. This is the third consecutive year that Itec has supported the event as a technology sponsor.
Says Gavin Meyer, MD of the Itec Connect Group: “We regard this event as a perfect way to demonstrate the leaps and bounds that mobile technology has made over the past few years. To provide this level of connectivity to riders in remote areas in the past, we would have needed a truck crammed with computers and networking equipment.
“Now, we use a small satellite dish and a router, and the bikers are able to connect to home with their smartphones and tablets. With over 700 riders using the network, this initiative shows how easy it has become for business and government to take broadband connectivity to even the most remote parts of the country.”
Many of the participants in the race are business professionals and entrepreneurs, who need to stay connected to the office, whether they are doing the full nine-day event or one of the shorter legs. They are also a close fit with Itec’s customer base.
Meyer adds that Vodacom – one of Itec’s business partners – shares Itec’s passion for sports and cycling in particular.
“This made the partnership a natural fit,” says Meyer. “It’s a great way for us to extend our brand while also giving something back to the community.”
Meyer says the strong social responsibility element of the race is also very attractive to Itec. Every organisation who works on the Old Mutual joBerg2c is paid. From road crossings to watering points, it is a way for communities in remote areas to raise money and work together for fun.
“The Itec WiFi set-up, in partnership with Vodacom, gives joBerg2c riders a chance to stay in touch with the outside world over the nine days of the race. Many of our riders need to touch base with the office from time to time, to make sure business continues in their absence, or simply let their loved ones know that they finished the day’s stage safely,” says joBerg2c race organiser, Craig Wapnick.