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Accessible, affordable and reliable wireless internet for your home is now a reality in Samoa. Thanks to internet service provider and family-owned business Netvo, home wifi is no longer reserved for the privileged in Samoa, and is available to all families and businesses in the Apia area. In time their service will be available around Samoa.
For the many thousands who are not fortunate to have home wifi, internet is normally accessed from their mobile phones. But for many enthusiasts this would mean a quickly drained databank…and perhaps a quickly drained bank account!
But since Netvo founder and CEO Stephen Sua Leota and the Sua Leota family had brought communications connectivity to Samoa and built a 4G /LTE network, the people of Samoa can now enjoy fast, affordable and reliable internet from their homes or businesses.
The official launch of Netvo in September 2016 means the business is still relatively new but incomparable, says Togisala Tony Sua-Leota, Chief Operations Officer, NetVo Samoa.
“NetVo owns and operates their own 4G LTE network which provides robust access to the internet.
"We came into the market to offer services to our everyday people that they were not able to experience such as video calling their families or being able to watch online video content from the comfort of their homes."
Community interests were also important for Netvo. The ability to provide better technology solutions to schools and health sectors is crucial to Samoa’s advancement in the world.
In an exclusive interview with NetVo Samoa President & CEO, Stephen Sua Leota, he explains further the story of NetVo, how the idea to start the company came into fruition, and the vision behind his company. "Through my experience, I had a way to make this level of service available and that’s what motivated me to set up this company. My goal is to make these services accessible to ALL people in Samoa." says Sua-Leota.
Netvo prides itself on being a Samoa owned and operated internet service provider, in turn providing jobs for the locals. It is this success that Stephen says is rewarding and outweighs the challenges of the business – challenges like the ever-changing technological landscape which they constantly have to adapt to.
"Slowly but surely we are working towards providing the best offering we can for Samoa with the resources we have available to us. We will soon be launching more services at a level Samoa has not seen or experienced."
The technical side of things weren't the only challenges for Stephen and his family. Being a new entrant in a competitive market was like being a small fish swimming with big sharks especially in a developing nation like Samoa.
"The norm in Samoa is that only a large international company or government is capable of setting up this type of business."
He adds that Netvo was one hundred percent self funded further justifying his ambition to help Samoa as a country to prosper.
"I'm not here to compete or take over the industry, I'm just here to offer the best service I can with the resources we have.
"In saying that, we want to set a new trend for our younger ambitious entrepreneurs - that our Samoan people can do things at a high level in business. We encourage young Samoan entrepreneurs to have the faith to take chances and that you don’t have to be a big corporate company."
Critics and naysayers also took some getting used to - something many Samoa business owners would say comes along with the territory especially when new ideas and ventures are launched.
"We have received criticism and have been challenged and we take that on board. I mean how many people in Samoa would be ambitious enough to start an ISP company? It’s a hugely competitive market. We will continue to stay focused on our company and provide the best service we can within in our means."
Stephen moved back home to Samoa to 'make a difference' after spending many years living in the U.S where he formed important business connections.
He looks back on his days growing up in the village of Solosolo where he remembers he and his siblings often went without and didn't have many luxuries like other kids his age.
But his hard working parents ensured that they had a better future. Stephen's athleticism also meant that he was able to move to the U.S as a teenager to pursue his education and career.
"We have moved back to Samoa to contribute back to our country through Netvo. We are one of you and we are here to give back to our people with the talents and resources that God has blessed us with."
NETVO - SAMOA
Location: Gold Star Building, 1st Floor, Matafele, Apia
Phone: +685 29333
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