Since the Covid-19 crisis, the high-speed data segment has gained in value. The telecom operators are fighting there with bonuses. Airtel, which wants to consolidate its leadership position, has decided to make new investments to develop its network.
The mobile operator Airtel Niger initiated, Friday, August 20, the deployment of optical fiber from the city of Zinder to that of Maimoujia, on the border with Nigeria. The project is valued at 3.2 billion FCFA (5.7 million USD). It consists of three components: the construction of a 12 km urban fiber optic loop in Zinder, the construction of a data center in the city and the construction of a 123 km optical fiber link between Zinder and Maimoujia.
Through this investment, Abdel Kader Abdoulaye Babakodo, Airtel Niger’s marketing director, indicated that Zinder will become ” a strategic pole of the sub-regional interconnection plan “. He underlined that in the long term, the city will become a point of passage for the traffic of certain bordering countries towards the international one in addition to being completely autonomous for the transport of calls and Internet data.
Currently, Airtel is the leader of the national telecom market. According to the latest data from the Electronic Communications and Postal Regulatory Authority (Arcep), Airtel held more than 40% of the market share, followed by Zamani Telecom (ex-Orange) and Moov Africa, with respectively nearly 28 % and nearly 27% market share. Niger Telecoms had nearly 3% of shares. This performance was made possible thanks to the data segment which has become more dynamic with the Covid-19. The company saw its Internet subscriber base exceed 2.5 million customers.
With the fiber optic loop and the data center of Zinder, the second largest city in Niger by population, in addition to the high-speed section to Maimoujia, Airtel Niger is acquiring assets that will enable it to record new subscribers in the country and further grow its financial income.