After receiving $2.1m in funding, Nigerian startup set to upend ISP market


Founder of Tizeti Network Services, Kendall Ananyi, a Masters Graduate in Computer Engineering from the University of Victoria, Canada, has over 15 years experience in the technology space. Throughout his career, Kendall had worked in various companies including ExxonMobil, Microsoft Canada and PriceWaterhousecoopers. Kendall looks to leverage his in-depth wireless networking knowledge, project management and software experience to develop and grow Tizeti across the African continent.

Tizeti Co-founder, Kendall Ananyi.
Tizeti Co-founder, Kendall Ananyi

For more than 3 years, Tizeti has been deploying high-speed internet access to estates, offices, multi-tenant building using next generation Wi-fi technology. They deploy unlimited internet to residential and business customers which allow customers get the full benefit of the internet with no data or time caps.What differentiates Tizeti from other companies is their focus on leveraging the large wireless capacity available with Wi-fi and plummeting cost of solar panels to create a low CAPEX/OPEX network of owned & operated towers to offer disruptive, customer-friendly pricing for unlimited internet service right across Africa.

IT News Africa spoke to Ananyi of the inspiration behind the company, the challenges on the African continent, how they compare to other ISP’s and the impact of their recent funding.

1) What inspired you to start Tizeti?

We were initially working on a Video on Demand service, and streaming video online requires a lot of bandwidth. All the ISPs had at that time had moved away from offering unlimited internet and we then decided that the bigger problem to solve was being able to offer unlimited internet.

2) What are the major challenges in Nigeria with regards to providing the public with internet access?

The top 3 challenges are Power, Interference and Capex Financing. Powering each tower to maintain uptime is one of the greatest challenges as power is unreliable.
The next challenge is interference which affects the quality of the internet connection and degrades the user experience.
Lastly financing the large capital outlay required to roll out a network can also prove to be a problem due to the scarcity of funds in the West African region.

3) How does Tizeti plan to overcome some of these challenges?
We solved the power problem by utilizing solar power for our towers. The interference problem will be solved by licensing spectrum from the Nigerian government.
Lastly, we have received funding to roll out our network in Lagos as well as the South West and South South regions. We trust that these models (solar powered towers as well as licensed spectrum), will work for the rest of the West African region as well when we do expand.

5) How have traditional ISP’s responded to your offerings?
They reintroduced their unlimited internet service plans which they had phased out but they are still 30 -100% more expensive than our plan. They also throttle speed once the user exceeds some set cap.

6) What are your plans to take the business forward after receiving $2.1M in funding from international investors?
We intend to complete the rollout in Lagos and then as stated, extend coverage to the South South and South West states in Nigeria.

7) In what way do you think your company can transform the way Africans operate online?
We can move the continent forward by providing our unlimited internet to Africans which will allow them to access information needed to develop the continent, more freely. It will also help change their internet consumption pattern since an unlimited service will stimulate more usage.

 

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