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Vivendi wins Gabon FTTH license

Vivendi wins Gabon FTTH license

Gabon's Regulatory Authority for Electronic Communications and Postal Services (ARCEP) has announced the winner of the country's first ever fiber-to-the-home licence. Group Vivendi Africa (GVA), a subsidiary of France's largest entertainment group Vivendi, has secured the permission to provide fibre connectivity to homes and businesses in Libreville - the country's capital and largest city.

Vivendi has vowed to provide the service at competitive prices. The company's cable television channel Canal Plus, which operates in Gabon as well as 25 other African countries, is expected to leverage benefits of the licence to add to its customer base in the country.

Liin Mobo, chairman of ARCEP says the development of ftth infrastructure in Gabon will support the country's economic and social development.

To assist with the fibre rollout, Vivendi has taken on partners including Gabon's Society of Energy and Water (SEEG), and telecommunications infrastructure solutions provider Axione which first arrived in the country a year ago after it won a 7-year digital concession contract with the National Digital Infrastructure Company (Société de Patrimoine des Infrastructures Numériques, SPIN), which is also a partner on the project.

Axione acts as a wholesale operator for all operators and internet service providers. The company is also in charge of maintaining state-owned optical infrastructure, including the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) international submarine cable system, the national submarine cable system between Libreville and Port-Gentil, and the west-east terrestrial fibre-optic link, which was built last year.

Easing lack of infrastructure

The Gabonese FTTH license was awarded two weeks after Vivendi announced that it plans to open four CanalOlympia theaters in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Guinea and Niger during the months of January and February 2017. The cinemas and shows are part of a network of rooms that will be deployed gradually in Central and West Africa according to Vivendi.

"CanalOlympia rooms are designed to facilitate access to culture and entertainment in countries that are often lacking adequate infrastructure and to act as catalysts for talent development in Africa. They rely on an original architectural design allowing them to accommodate 300 people in interior configuration and several thousand people in outdoor configuration. They are equipped with state-of-the-art digital projection and sound equipment and use solar panels and storage batteries ensuring the energy autonomy of the place," detailed Vivendi in its announcement of the cinemas which it says will leverage the historical presence and the notoriety of Canal + in Africa.

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