Tizeti to support Africa’s startup ISPs with $5m fund
To take advantage of digital offerings in a new world, West Africa’s pioneer solar-based internet and voice service provider, Tizeti, has disclosed plans to support Nigeria and other Africa’s startup Internet Service Providers (ISPs) with a $5m venture fund towards expanding internet access across the continent.
The Chief Executive Officer, Tizeti, Kendall Ananyi stated this at its yearly NeXTGEN conference. He explained that the initiative was developed base on the need to promote digital interaction and make transformation more seamless in the wake of disrupting global COVID-19 pandemic.
He noted that despite 22 per cent growth in internet usage in Nigeria, the market is still huge with a lot opportunities.
The forum brought together speakers that include, the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Kudi, Yinka Adewale, co-founder/Chief Executive Officer, Aella App, Akin Jones, Chief Executive Officer, Reliance Health, Dr. Femi Kuti, Country Managing Director (Nokia Nigeria), Eniola Campbell, and the Deputy General Manager, Nigeria Sales for Main One, Olubunmi Ogun
Ananyi said, “The global pandemic expedited the need for technology to be more agile, faster, more intuitive, and easier to understand, irrespective of the peculiarities of its users. Many people were unable to quickly adapt to the new normal of working, connecting to family and colleagues remotely, and accessing various educational, occupational, entertainment, and other services virtually. “Many firms took an unnecessarily long time to adjust to the constraints the pandemic brought, and this resulted in declined productivity, ineffective transformation, and lost revenue. Technology is only useful when it is creating solutions to problems and we believe that as a leader in the digital space in West Africa, we have a role to build the technology platforms that will allow our user base to be agile and relevant in the coming years. We saw the transition from physical everything to the work-from-home model overnight and knew that we had to help people and businesses change the way they work and play”.
He said the firm has unveiled new connectivity offerings to widen the broadband envelope in Nigeria with robust internet plans, expanding coverage in Nigeria and a focus on accelerating internet availability across Africa with a new venture fund. The innovation will also help to deliver a simpler and more convenient technology offering with a smart customer care operation and integrated customer relationship management systems.
“We have launched a new voice and data service for residential, small, medium and enterprise organizations within Nigeria. Turbo 100MBps Unlimited Internet Plans in Lagos will guarantee 100Mbps unlimited plans which are 50 times faster than the existing plans in the market, with a free three months pilot to the first 100 signups in the Lekki area.”
According to him, Tizeti is passionate about empowering more Nigerians, stimulating economic activities and providing unlimited access to affordable and reliable broadband services by widening the broadband envelope to 10 new cities in Nigeria.
“We are expanding unlimited internet plans, currently available in cities in Lagos, Ogun, Rivers and Edo States, to Abuja, Ibadan, Kaduna, Kano, Warri/Asaba, Eket/Uyo, Onitsha, Aba, Enugu, and Calabar. We are building brand-new, solar-powered, 4G-capable towers in these cities and leveraging expansive fiber-networks built by some of our partners, to enable us to roll out our low-cost broadband service, and bring millions of people online, who can now take advantage of the life-changing socio-economic opportunities that access to the Internet provides.”
He further said Tizeti was built to tackle poor internet connectivity not only in Nigeria but on the continent as a whole, by developing a cost-effective solution from inception to delivery, for reliable and uncapped internet access for potentially millions of Africans.
“ The move to expand rapidly to 10 other states is built on the successes recorded and this will allow us to expand quickly to Tier 2 and Tier 3 locations outside the unlimited broadband internet envelope”, he said.
The Chief Operating Officer of the firm, Ifeanyi Okonkwo, stated that it will leverage the proprietary OS technology, global partnerships with equipment vendors, submarine cable companies, payment providers and venture firms to provide the resources for the startup ISPs to accelerate the availability of unlimited internet across the continent.
He said, “Successful startups will participate in a 3-months programme with at Tizeti’s location in Nigeria or Ghana where they are expected to gain the knowledge and expertise to rapidly launch affordable internet services in their respective countries.”
“Tizeti has also simplified its customer experience with a Smart Interactive Voice Response Service that extends its existing Wi-Fi Voice APIs and authenticates callers into their call centers using their phone numbers. This smart IVR reduces wait times and the need to talk to customer service agents by providing tailored information on account holders while on the phone call. The company also extended this innovation to its Integration to major Customer Relationships Management systems such as Freshdesk, Zoho, and Bitrix 24. This new feature allows businesses to make and receive calls directly from their CRM applications using Wificall.ng at local call rates.