The cellphone revolution answered the first demand wave for basic communications services as people became more mobile in SSA. The number of subscribers on the continent has grown almost 20% each year for the past five years. The next logical solution is internet services but internet penetration has only marginally made its impact in Africa relative to other parts of the world. Since 2007 penetration in simple basic internet has risen from 4.7% to approximately 11.5% penetration (with wide country variances), and broadband conncetivity is almost non-existent. Following more than a decade of civil war, Sierra Leone has enjoyed peace, stability and rapid economic growth. The country’s traditional telecommunications infrastructure has suffered damage and neglect, but the mobile sector has experienced excellent growth. Despite the increasing demand for tele-communication services, the existing network is characterized by low penetration rates and poor quality of services.
To address this shortage, Thomas Global Technologies, Inc. (TGT) will deploy an affordable, and high speed broadband internet based on a WiMax/LTE solution. The initial deployment will be in 14 largest cities, including Freetown, Bo, and Kenema. The core business will be similar to the cell phone model using scratch cards and contracted subscriptions. The immediate application of this service will be for residential use, and commerical use including content for e-schools, ehealthcare, e-business, social networking, media roadcasting, and IP telephony subscriptions. After an initaial deploymen tin Sierra Leone, the Company is planning to develop its network in other countries in West Africa.