Home / Blogs

International Fibre Bandwidth Hubbing, a Lucrative Business

The small West African country of Benin has been working quietly over the past few years to become a regional hub for international fibre bandwidth. The national telco, Benin Telecoms (BT) has been building terrestrial fibre routes to landlocked neighbouring countries such as Burkina Faso and Niger, allowing them to connect to its landing station for the SAT-3/WASC cable, the only one serving the region. But also other coastal countries in the region are using Benin as a hub—Togo because it doesn’t have its own SAT-3/WASC landing station, and Nigeria because its national telco Nitel is in disarray and not managing its own landing station properly.

The Togo link was extended to Ghana earlier this year, giving Benin a backup route to another SAT-3/WASC landing station, which is important since ships’ anchors have in the past damaged various branches of the cable, causing major outages.

Benin may get its own Glo-1 landing station in the future, and the France Telecom-sponsored ACE cable is scheduled to reach it in 2011. Meanwhile, other companies are already pushing into this lucrative business: Nigerian alternative telco, Phase3 Telecom has teamed up with electricity utilities in Benin and Togo to roll out and operate fibre along power lines, with expansion plans for Ghana, Burkina Faso, Niger and Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) from 2010.

However, lower broadband prices will only trickle down to consumers in the region if and when BT and the other national telcos pass the cost savings on. For the time being it looks like most of them are trying to maintain the comfortable low-volume/high price business model of the past, keeping consumer broadband prices high. But this will change as competition intensifies and regulatory pressure on the incumbents to open their markets.

By Paul Budde, Managing Director of Paul Budde Communication

Paul is also a contributor of the Paul Budde Communication blog located here.

Visit Page

Filed Under


Comment Title:

  Notify me of follow-up comments

We encourage you to post comments and engage in discussions that advance this post through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can report it using the link at the end of each comment. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of CircleID. For more information on our comment policy, see Codes of Conduct.

CircleID Newsletter The Weekly Wrap

More and more professionals are choosing to publish critical posts on CircleID from all corners of the Internet industry. If you find it hard to keep up daily, consider subscribing to our weekly digest. We will provide you a convenient summary report once a week sent directly to your inbox. It's a quick and easy read.

I make a point of reading CircleID. There is no getting around the utility of knowing what thoughtful people are thinking and saying about our industry.

Co-designer of the TCP/IP Protocols & the Architecture of the Internet



New TLDs

Sponsored byRadix

Threat Intelligence

Sponsored byWhoisXML API


Sponsored byVerisign

Brand Protection

Sponsored byCSC

Domain Names

Sponsored byVerisign

IPv4 Markets

Sponsored byIPv4.Global