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Current broadband alternatives in Africa

3air Current Broadband

Currently, broadband in Africa is years behind European or US standards.

For instance, the competitive landscape in Kinshasa for residential and corporate users predominantly delivers “broadband” services via mobile networks and point-to-point connections, with inherent limitations in each method. Even high-end residential or business districts do not have physical cable access for true broadband. As a result, prices are high, and performance is not on par with western standards.

Sim-card-based Wi-Fi hotspots cost about $100 for 100 GB, and suppliers charge between $200 and $800 per Mbps for dedicated point-to-point connectivity.

Satellite-based TV ranges from $7 to $105 per month and doesn’t work when it rains.

IP telephony, an important service for enterprises and large corporations, is absent.

Broadband Data

The big market participants, Africell, Airtel, Vodacom, Orange, etc., focus on the mobile phone sector. However, the absence of cable infrastructure and fixed broadband in Africa motivated these players to enter the ISP space via Wi-Fi hotspot dongles for residential customers and point-to-point solutions for enterprise use. As neither of these solutions provides fixed broadband services on par with western standards, these services are priced high and are limited in functionality and capacity.


The two main providers, DStv and Canal+, operate on satellite technology, which is extremely vulnerable to signal disturbances from weather conditions (e.g., rain). They offer various channel offerings with packages ranging between $7 to $105 per month.

Fixed phone lines

Provided by some market participants for an additional fee. These are not used often due to the absence of IP phone functionality and the inability to provide PBX systems which are critical for enterprise offerings and large corporations.

Competitive pricing overview

Data Providers Plan Speed Monthly Cost USD Notes
Sim-card based Providers
Vodacom Limited: 30GB LTE 75.00 $ Only 1/5th data of avg. K3 customer uses
Vodacom Limited: 100GB LTE 100.00 $ Less data than avg the K3 consumer uses
Satellite Offers
Afrikanet Data Limited: 100GB 20Mbps 300.00 $ Has high latency, 10 seconds to open webpage
Afrikanet Data Limited: 200GB 20Mbps 600.00 $ Has high latency, 10 seconds to open webpage
Afrikanet Data + VoIP Limited: 100GB 20Mbps 400.00 $ Has high latency, 10 seconds to open webpage
Afrikanet Data + VoIP Limited: 200GB 20Mbps 800.00 $ Has high latency, 10 seconds to open webpage
Dedicated Offers
Global Broadband Solution Dedicated 1Mbps 700.00 $ (plus installation cost $1,500 - $5,000)
Global Broadband Solution Dedicated 3Mbps 2,100.00 $ (plus installation cost $1,500 - $5,000)
Global Broadband Solution Dedicated 5Mbps 3,500.00 $ (plus installation cost $1,500 - $5,000)
Orion-RDC Dedicated 1Mbps 320.00 $ Orion-RDC Dedicated 3Mbps 960.00 $
Orion-RDC Dedicated 5Mbps 1,600.00 $
Orion-RDC Dedicated 3Mbps 960.00 $
Airtel Dedicated 5Mbps 5,104.00 $

Table 1 Africa broadband competitive pricing overview

Based on our data, the average K3 customer in Sierra Leone uses 140 GB of data per month. Thus, Vodacom’s largest package (100 GB) is not enough for regular broadband use. Additionally, the above packages do not include TV and IP telephony. Those must be acquired through additional services such as DStv or Canal+, costing between $7 and $105.

This data represents the situation in major cities in Africa.

Together with K3, we will set up an infrastructure that will allow up to 1,000 Mbps per user of dedicated bandwidth, over 150 Digital TV channels, and IP telephony to residential, government, and corporate clients, with prices that cost around 50% less than the competition.

There is no service remotely comparable to K3’s “Cable in the Air.”.