Nigerian operator tackles broadband challenges in Cote d’Ívoire with Microsoft
One of Nigeria’s Internet service providers (ISPs) with operations in West Africa, Tizeti, has announced an expanded collaboration with Microsoft to address the issue of broadband underdevelopment in Cote d’Ívoire and bring Internet access to almost five million people.
The partnership aims at providing affordable and reliable high-speed Internet access to underserved communities and people in the country, addressing the significant broadband gap that has hindered economic development and social progress in the region and empowering more Ivorians to participate in the digital economy.
Cote d’Ívoire is believed to have less than 40 per cent Internet penetration, with fixed Internet around two per cent. The fixed Internet and broadband sectors remain underdeveloped in Cote d’Ívoire, due to a legacy of poor international connectivity, which resulted in high wholesale prices, limited bandwidth, and a lack of access for alternative operators to international infrastructure.
Operators such as MainOne, and Africa Coast to Europe have the subsea infrastructure, with 2Africa expected to land in 2023. While the submarine cable vertical is more competitive, Cote d’Ívoire has limited last-mile providers, who pull the Internet capacity and distribute it to homes, offices, schools, hospitals, and other public institutions.
Tizeti will roll out high-speed Internet infrastructure with Microsoft’s Airband Initiative, leveraging Tizeti’s low-cost wireless technologies. This will help make it easier and cheaper for people to access the Internet and connect to the digital economy. These shared efforts are part of the Microsoft Airband Initiative’s commitment to bring Internet access to 100 million Africans by the end of 2025, which aligns with Tizeti’s goal of connecting more people to the Internet in a cost-efficient way.
Chief Executive Officer of Tizeti, Kendall Ananyi, said: “We are thrilled to partner with Microsoft to bring reliable and affordable high-speed Internet access to underserved communities in Cote d’Ívoire. “Our mission at Tizeti is to bring affordable and reliable Internet to more Africans outside the digital envelope, and this partnership is a significant step forward in achieving that goal.
This work with Microsoft continues our joint efforts to deliver world-class Internet connectivity to the people of Africa, starting with Nigeria and now Cote d’Ívoire.”
Microsoft’s Airband Initiative is focused on advancing digital equity—access to affordable Internet, affordable devices, and digital skills – as a platform for empowerment and digital transformation across the world.
General Manager of Microsoft’s Airband Initiative, Vickie Robinson, said: “Through our expanded partnership with Tizeti, we are committed to providing high-speed Internet access to five million people in Cote d’Ivoire by the end of 2025.
“Partners such as Tizeti are vital to the Airband ecosystem, which relies on local expertise along with public and private organizations of every size to tailor regional solutions. The expansion to Cote d’Ivoire will help build sustainable infrastructure that strengthens local development and reduces barriers to connectivity.”
For many countries in Africa, there is still a huge digital divide. This boundary between connected and unconnected translates into clear consequences for employment, education, family and social life, and access to information. Collaborations such as this play a significant role in addressing the digital infrastructure deficits in emerging economies, leveraging innovative technology and capabilities, to improve development outcomes for millions of people.