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Bayobab Group incorporates nine fibre companies

By , Africa editor
Africa , 26 Mar 2024
Bayobab Group CEO Frédéric Schepens.
Bayobab Group CEO Frédéric Schepens.

MTN Group-owned Bayobab, a provider of pan-African digital communications solutions, has expanded its footprint with the incorporation of nine specialised fibre businesses, each with the necessary operating licences.

MTN Group, Africa's largest telecoms carrier, presented results for the entire financial year ended December 2023 yesterday, and Bayobab's performance was highlighted.

It was revealed that Bayobab had acquired additional fibre operating licences in critical markets, including Uganda, Côte d'Ivoire, and the Central African Republic, in the fourth quarter of 2023.

Ralph Mupita, CEO, MTN Group, stated that during the current reporting period, Bayobab also acquired the fibre network of MTN Zambia in a sale-and-leaseback transaction, to complete the first milestone in the structural separation of fibre assets under Ambition 2025 strategy.

He added that Bayobab reinforced its network with specialised routes, notably the East to West Africa corridor, which bolsters terrestrial fibre for countries along its path.

“In the subsea fibre business, Bayobab closed the year with the landing of the 2Africa subsea cable in Ghana in November 2023, which was followed by the Nigeria landing, post year end, in February 2024,” Mupita said.

Led by CEO Frédéric Schepens, Bayobab has since set in motion an ambitious two-year plan to expand its fibre network to 135,000 km.

According to Mupita, Bayobab rolled out approximately 7,000km of new fibre, augmenting its total proprietary fibre inventory to 114,000km, as at 31 December 2023.

Addressing the financial metrics of the company, Mupita said Bayobab recorded an 8.1% year-on-year (YoY) growth in external revenue, amounting to $372.3 million.

Within Communication Platforms, he said, external revenue rose by 9.2% YoY, driven by application-to-person SMS strategic partnerships.

He explained: “Collaborating with key global mobile networks, Bayobab launched over 6,800 roaming services, enhancing international roaming affordability for MTN subscribers throughout Africa.”

Also, Mupita revealed that Bayobab became the first telecommunications provider across Africa to become a telecoms Business Solution Provider (BSP) for WhatsApp for business.

As a BSP, Bayobab will provide businesses with a range of services related to the use of WhatsApp Business Platform.

Bayobab’s fibre segment’s external revenue was flat YoY, at $39.7 million, with Mupita saying: “This performance was supported by new fixed connectivity infrastructure deals valued at $24.4 million secured in the year.”

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