Eutelsat Communications, a satellite operator, has signed an agreement with Tizeti, a wireless Internet service provider, to boost broadband penetration in Nigeria, particularly in underserved areas.
The two firms announced on the sidelines of AfricaCom, a meeting point of Africa’s tech community, that they will use Eutelsat’s KA-band satellite communication, Konnect, to reach distant villages throughout Nigeria and provide fast and affordable internet services.
Konnect’s Community Wi-Fi (Konnect Wi-Fi) initiative has already experienced significant success across Africa, with hundreds of stations giving internet connection to tens of thousands of people each week.
“Eutelsat’s ambition is to connect 1 million unserved people across Sub-Saharan Africa to high-speed internet over the next five years, and this partnership with Tizeti will help bridge Nigeria’s digital divide and help unlock the wealth of social and economic opportunities that the internet brings,” Philippe Baudrier, general manager of connectivity for Africa at Eutelsat said in the statement.
Kendall Ananyi, chief executive officer at Tizeti, stated that satellite broadband will complement Tizeti’s existing projects and establish the groundwork for a vibrant and dynamic digital ecosystem across Nigeria.
“Our partnership with Eutelsat expands our mission of bringing affordable and reliable internet to more Nigerians and provides us with the opportunity to accelerate the expansion of broadband internet via satellite, bridge the digital gap, and improve digital transformation for more Nigerians,” Ananyi said.
There is still a huge digital divide in many African countries. This gap between connected and unconnected translates into clear consequences for employment, education, family and social life, and access to information, according to the statement.
“Partnerships 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.”
Despite 44.5 percent broadband penetration, which is mostly provided by Mobile Network Operators, dependable internet service is still limited to a few states.
In light of this, Tizeti and Eutelsat’s collaboration will provide a complementary solution that will leverage satellite broadband infrastructure and Tizeti’s community Wi-Fi management platform to deliver a fast and affordable public wi-fi hotspot service, particularly in remote areas that are difficult to reach by terrestrial broadband infrastructure.