West African internet service provider Tizeti has expanded its collaboration with Microsoft to bring internet access to almost five million people in Cote d’Ivoire.
The partnership aims to address the issue of broadband underdevelopment by 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’Ivoire is believed to have less than 40% internet penetration, with fixed internet around 2%. The fixed internet and broadband sectors remain underdeveloped in Cote d’Ivoire, 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 subsea infrastructure, with 2Africa expected to land in 2023. While the submarine cable vertical is more competitive, Cote d’Ivoire 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.
Kendall Ananyi, Chief Executive Officer of Tizeti, said: "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’Ivoire."
“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,” said Vickie Robinson, General Manager of Microsoft’s Airband Initiative. “The expansion to Cote d’Ivoire will help build sustainable infrastructure that strengthens local development and reduces barriers to connectivity."