Tizeti is bringing wireless internet to urban Africa

Internet accessibility in developing marketplaces is a huge challenge.

Facebook and Alphabet have spent millions on internet-enabled drones, balloons, andother services to solve the last mile problem of connectivity in rural marketplaces in developing nations, but that solves a number of problems that affectsa smallerpopulation thanaddressing connectivity in cities.

Meanwhile, anew company called Tizeti, which is move away from the latest batch of startups to come from Y Combinator, is proposing a simple solution to the connectivity problem Build more towers, more inexpensively, and present internet services at a cost that obliges appreciation for customers in the urban environments where most people actually live.

Theres a ton of capacity going to 16 submarine cables[ coming into Africa ], remarks Tizeti founder Kendall Ananyi. The problem is get the internet to the customers. You have bags and drones and that will work in the rural areas but its not effective, in urban environments. We solve the internet problem in a dense area.

Its not a revolutionary abstraction, and its one thats “ve managed” net the company 3,000 subscribers already and roughly $1.2 million in annual entered receipt, according to Ananyi.

There are 1.2 billion people in Africa, but only 26% of them are on online and most get internet over mobile phones, remarks Ananyi. Perhaps only 6% of that person has an internet subscription, he said.

Photo courtesy of Flickr/ Steve Song

Tizeti is angling to solve that problem in Nigeria by offering unlimited internet access through its wi-fi towers at a cost that he claims is cheap for Africas developing middle class.

The companys subscriptions start at $30 per month.

Tizetis business model wringscost efficiencies from every part of the development process, he articulated. The corporation saves money on placing and change by offering free wi-fi services to theowners of the estate where the company builds its 100 -foot-tall wi-fi towers. The towers themselves are powered by solar modules instead of electricity from the grid or an on-site generator.

In all, Ananyi says that the 35 towers his corporation built in Lagos cost roughly $7,000, vs. $17,000 per month if the corporation is was use standard generators.

For the basic work, clients get wi-fi internet at a acceleration of 10mbps. Typical clients will use anywhere from 100 gigs to 1 terabyte per month, remarks Ananyi.

While the companys service is typically offered in the home, it is getting set to introduction a new universal hotspot work for anyone with a cell phone. That cheaper intention, can be made available to anyone who has a wi-fi enabled device, remarks Ananyi.

Its for downmarket useds who cant afford the setup costs for in-home, remarks Ananyi. Anybody who wants to can connect and compensate smaller sums for a period a week or a month.

For Ananyi, a former Microsoft employee who then went to work for ExxonMobil on some of their deepwater jobs off the Nigerian sea-coast, the chance to work on Internet infrastructurewas the answer to a larger problem. He and his co-founder Ifeanyi Okonkwo, a former Blackberry employee, initially wanted to do video-on-demand.

We found out that there wasnt enough internet, remarks Ananyi. We chose a bigger opportunity was to go after the internet problem itself.

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