Isocel gains loan for broadband expansion

Isocel gains loan for broadband expansion

Benin-based ISP Isocel received a loan of €6 million from French public investment bank Bpifrance to expand its fibre optic network.

Ecofin Agency reported the company intends to expand its network from 90km to over 500km in the populous city of Cotonou. Isocel chose to expand through aerial infrastructure on power poles, enabling it to halve cost and installation time in comparison to underground optical cables.

The work will begin in January and to be completed in the second half of 2021. The gear will be bought from France-based company Acome, a developer of gear for telecoms, automotive and train infrastructure. The equipment will be manufactured at Acome’s Normandy plant, transported by Geka Telecom and installed by Sagemcom.

With the network expansion Isocel aimed to gain a minimum of 10,000 new subscribers over the next three to five years. The company competes with Societe Beninoise d'infrastructures Numeriques (SBIN), Benin Telecom Infrastructure (BTI) and Libercom in the consumer fibre broadband market.

Libercom is also laying down its optical fibre network with the target of 50,000 subscribers within three to four years.

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