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Current broadband alternatives in Africa

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

For instance, the competitive landscape in Kinshasa for the residential as well as the corporate market is predominantly delivering “broadband” services via the mobile network and point to point connections, both bearing inherent limitations. Even high-end residential or business districts do not have physical cable access for true broadband. As a result, pricing is high and performance not on par with western standards.

Costs for sim-card-based Wi-Fi hotspots hover around $100 for 100 GB and for dedicated point to point connectivity, suppliers are asking between $200 and $800 per Mbps.

Satellite based TV ranges from $7 to $105 per month and doesn’t work while it’s raining.

IP telephony, important to enterprises and large corporations is absent.

Broadband Data

The big market participants: Africell, Airtel, Vodacom, Orange etc. are predominantly focused on the mobile phone sectors. However, given the lack of cable infrastructure and therefore the lack of fixed broadband in Africa, these players have started to merge into the ISP space via Wi-Fi hot spot dongles for residential customers and point to point solutions for enterprise solutions. 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.

TV

The two main providers are DSv and Canal+, which both operate on the satellite technology with its biggest disadvantage being signal disturbance from weather (rain). Both offer various channel offerings with prices ranging from $7 per month to $105 per month.

Fixed phone lines

Provided by some market participants for additional fee. These are not used often due the absence of IP phone functionality and 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

Given our hands-on data, the average K3 customer in Sierra Leone uses 140 GB data per month, thus Vodacom’s largest package of 100 GB is not enough for regular broadband use. Additionally, above packages do not include TV and IP telephony. These are priced additionally if available at DStv or Canal+ from $7 to $105.

This situation represents all 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, governmental, and business clients with prices expecting to range around 50% below competition.

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