As of January 2023, broadband penetration in Cote d’Ívoire stood at 45.4%, with about 12.94 million internet users, according to DataReportal.
Tizeti, a Nigerian internet service provider says the fixed internet and broadband sectors remain underdeveloped in the West African country, 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.
Cote d’Ívoire is the 173rd most expensive country in the world, according to the Worldwide mobile data pricing 2022 data. The average price of 1GB of data is $3.06.
In collaboration with Microsoft, Tizeti says it 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, the company said in a statement seen by Bendada.com.
"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," according to Kendall Ananyi, CEO of Tizeti. "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.
"Microsoft and Tizeti are expanding this partnership to Cote d’Ivoire, a cultural crossroads of West Africa, to bring internet access to almost five million people," according to Vickie Robinson, General Manager, Airband Initiative.
Before the Cote d’Ívoire expansion, the Microsoft Airband Initiative was in Africa
According to Microsoft, the initiative has brought coverage to more than 900,000 people in Nigeria, expanding from Lagos to focus on underserved states across the country. Through a partnership with another internet service provider Mawingu, the initiative has also impacted communities in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda.
"Mawingu was Airband’s first partner, and thanks to the public-partnership model, the company is now Kenya’s leading internet service provider dedicated to rural and peri-urban markets," says Robinson.
Microsoft Airband's relationship with Mawingu started in 2014 with a pilot in Nanyuki and has since expanded to deliver high-speed internet access to four million Kenyans living in rural areas.
The initiative has also expanded its partnership with Mawingu to cover 16 million people across Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda by the end of 2025, ultimately covering a total of 20 million people.