Bandwidth and Cloud Services Group Holdings (BCS)
Region and country of operations: Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo
Jurisdiction of registration: Mauritius
Business sector: Telecommunication
Date of agreement (month/year): 8/2021
Finnfund’s financing: USD 12,000,000
Share of Finnfund’s financing: 38%
Size of project/financing:
Environmental and social category: B+
Bandwidth and Cloud Services Group (BCS) is a Mauritius-headquartered wholesale telecom infrastructure provider, operating under licenses in several African countries. The Group offers two main services that generate a combination of recurring and one-off project revenues: (i) acting as wholesale telecom service provider by selling bandwidth capacity to mobile network operators and internet service providers on a monthly basis, and (ii) acting as an EPC contractor and constructing terrestrial fibre infrastructure for its clients.
Since inception, BCS has served more than 40 clients, including Airtel, Safaricom and Vodacom Groups, with its bandwidth capacity resale and constructed over of 7,500 km of fibre optic cable infrastructure for third party clients in Kenya, Uganda, and DRC.
DRC is currently lacking an access to affordable and good quality internet connection, with large areas still relying on satellite connections, and data transfer prices are amongst the highest in the world. By building its own infrastructure, BCS cannot only offer full connectivity throughout the region with lower prices, but also secure a first-mover advantage against competition.
Finnfund is financing the Group’s DRC expansion.
Main development impact
Although DRC 3G network covers 53% of the population, only 17% has access to the internet. The reason is that DRC is classed as the most expensive country for mobile data, one Gb of data costs 26% of average income. The project will give access to fast and affordable internet services which has been one of the factors that has contributed to a rise in economic growth especially in Africa. With fast and reliable internet, small-scale businesses will be able to scale up and reach markets that they were unable to access.