Finnish development finance institution Finnfund is backing Bandwidth and Cloud Services Group (BCS), a telecom infrastructure provider that operates in several African countries, with debt capital of $12 million.
BCS Group is a wholesale telecommunications provider, providing services to mobile operators as well as internet service and content providers in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zambia.
The group also serves Malawi, Mozambique, South Sudan and Burundi at the border points. It was recently licensed in Angola.
The company was first started in Uganda almost 10 years ago, providing wholesale internet services. In addition, BCS Group provides transmission and international private leased circuit services as well as fibre construction and connectivity, leveraging over 8,000 kms of regional network, including 5,000 kms in Uganda alone.
The group’s network connects the landlocked parts of eastern, southern and central Africa to global internet exchange points using a submarine network.
“This investment in digital connectivity not only supports the economic growth of East, Central and Southern Africa but also facilitates inclusive access to critical services in finance, education and health,” said Jussi Ahonen, Finnfund’s head of digital infrastructure and solutions portfolio.
BCS managing director Yonas Maru said that large areas in Africa still rely on satellite connections and that data transfer prices in many of these countries are amongst the highest in the world.
“By building our own infrastructure, BCS can offer full connectivity throughout the region with lower prices. The funding from Finnfund will go a long way in closing the connectivity gap in many parts of Africa,” he added.
– Capital Quest