Airtel Niger launches US$5.7m fibre project
Airtel Niger has invested about US$5.7-million in a project to construct a datacentre and a 123km fibre optic link at Maimoudjia, a town bordering Nigeria, as well as another 12km urban fibre optic loop in Zinder city.
Airtel marketing director Abdel Kader Abduolaye Babakodo said the new fibre optic cable will increase the network capacity and improve access to digital services and high-speed internet.
Through this investment, Babakodo said Zinder city will become a “strategic pole of the sub-regional interconnection plan with the city becoming a point of passage of traffic of bordering countries towards the international one.”
Zinder governor Issa Moussa said the fibre optic interconnection network between the Zinder region and neighbouring Nigeria will fulfil a programme which aims to mesh the territory with basic infrastructure in very high-speed telecommunications.
Moussa added that the project is also expected to create jobs.
In May this year, the Republic of Niger's President Mohamed Bazoum bemoaned the lack of development in the telecommunications industry.
He said the low level of mobile internet service penetration is behind that of many African countries.
Moussa also said the penetration of active mobile money accounts is very low standing at just 3%.
He called on industry players in the country to accelerate the development of telecommunications “for the benefit of the country”.
Currently, Airtel Niger is the largest telecommunications operator in the country with a market share of more than 40%, according to the latest data from the country’s regulator, the Electronic Communications and Postal Regulatory Authority (ARCEP).
Zamani Telecom (formerly Orange) is in the second place and Moov Africa in the third position, while state-owned Niger Telecom is at the tail end.