Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) company, the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF/the Fund) has loaned US$40 million over 10 years in a debt package of US$100 million raised by the West Indian Ocean Cable Company (WIOCC). The new finance is part of the company’s corporate development programme. It is forecast to involve capital spending of at least US$379 million across Eastern and Southern Africa. Financial close was achieved on 25th September.
Details of the company’s investment will be announced at a later date.
Proparco, the French development finance institution was the transaction’s mandated lead arranger of the debt finance and is lending US$60 million of the US$100 million.
WIOCC was founded in 2008 to hold a stake in the EASSy greenfield submarine cable system serving East Africa. It has grown to become a regional leader in the telecom industry in Africa. Estimated to hold 20% of the African connectivity market, it provides end-to-end international connectivity within Africa. WIOCC offers a fully integrated submarine and terrestrial fibre-optic network around and inside the African continent. Its network extends to 55,000km of terrestrial fibre interconnecting 550 locations across Africa.
Olivia Carballo, a Director at EAIF’s managers, Ninety-One, says; “The announcement of EAIF’s support for WIOCC marks the Fund’s third investment in the African telecommunications industry this year. WIOCC’s expansion will stimulate enterprise and strengthen Africa’s digital infrastructure. Growing Africa’s communications infrastructure is vital to its long-term economic development and in assisting recovery from the global downturn caused by Covid-19. WIOCC can play a key role in helping Africa rebuild. ”
WIOCC’s business is leasing capacity to large-scale telecommunications operators and from long-term maintenance contracts. It runs its own network operations centre providing customer support on a 24/7 basis. The centre has its main base in Nairobi and a backup facility in Johannesburg.
The company says that the new investment will grow its customer base, create a more competitive market and contribute to downward pressure on wholesale and retail prices. It is expected to support more than 200 direct jobs over the next 5 years and WIOCC plans to develop vocational IT training for women, in order to further facilitate gender-balance in its workforce.
According to The World Bank, only 22% of the population of Africa has internet access.* EAIF’s loan contributes towards achieving two of the most critical Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); SDG 8 is Decent Work and Economic Growth and SDG 9 is Industry, innovation and infrastructure. Both SDGs are fundamental to building more resilient and stable economies.
White & Case acted as international legal counsel to the lenders and Analysys Mason advised on market and technical matters.
The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund provides a variety of debt products to infrastructure projects promoted mainly by private sector businesses in Africa and parts of the Levant. The Fund helps create the infrastructure framework that is essential to sustained economic stability, business confidence, job creation and poverty reduction. It has to date supported 75 completed infrastructure projects across nine sectors in over 20 African countries. As of the end of 2018 the Fund had invested US$20.082 billion. EAIF is part of PIDG. EAIF was established and substantially funded by the governments of the United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Switzerland, and Sweden. It raises its debt capital from public and private sources, including Allianz, the global insurance and financial services company; Standard Chartered Bank; the African Development Bank; the German development finance institution, KFW,and FMO, the Dutch development bank. EAIF is managed by Ninety One.
The Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) is an innovative infrastructure development and finance organisation which encourages and mobilises private investment in pioneering infrastructure in the frontier markets of sub-Saharan Africa and south and south-east Asia to promote economic development and combat poverty. PIDG delivers its ambition in line with its values of opportunity, accountability, safety, integrity and impact. Since 2002, PIDG has supported 157 infrastructure projects to financial close and provided 209 million people with access to new or improved infrastructure. PIDG is funded by six governments (the UK, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Australia, Sweden, Germany) and the IFC. PIDG TA can provide technical assistance and capital grants to the PIDG companies to meet a range of needs associated with an infrastructure project’s life-cycle. PIDG TA can also provide up-front viability gap funding grants to support PIDG projects that require concessional funding to make a project with strong development impact financeable.
About Ninety One
Ninety One is one of the largest third party investors in private equity, credit, public equity and sovereign debt across the African continent. The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF) is managed by and fully integrated into Ninety One’s African investment platform. Ninety One manages the entire process on behalf of the EAIF. It markets the Fund, seeks projects, evaluates loan applications, including due diligence, manages transaction administration and monitors the loan portfolio. Since May 2016, when it was awarded the management mandate, Ninety One and its EAIF team have closed over 20 infrastructure transactions with a capital value of USD 650m. The team also led EAIF’s last round of fundraising, raising US$385 million, including US$100 million from Allianz Global Investors and US$50 million from Standard Chartered, a long-standing lender to EAIF.
Ninety One is an independent, active global asset manager listed on the London and Johannesburg stock exchanges. Established in South Africa in 1991, as Investec Asset Management, the firm was a pioneer in emerging markets in Africa. In 2020, almost three decades of organic growth later, the firm de-merged from Investec Group and became Ninety One. Today, Ninety One offers distinctive, active strategies across equities, fixed income, multi-asset and alternative investments to institutions, advisors and individual investors around the world.
Take your Enterprise to the next level with CPaaS from DIDWW
Remote communication has never been more important. For large companies and budding enterprises, the post coronavirus world will see more emphasis on ensuring high-quality, in-depth communications. Telecommunications company, DIDWW, is providing these businesses with innovative solutions specifically designed to optimize their operations.
Effective communication and customer service have always been the cornerstone of a successful business. As the world begins to adapt to the post-coronavirus world, effective remote communication is going to become even more crucial if businesses intend to grow their operations.
Since 2004, telecommunication provider, DIDWW, has been working with companies worldwide, providing local, national, mobile, and toll-free virtual numbers. Their unique offerings allow customers to create innovative solutions to attract more business and increase overall user satisfaction.
The powerful DIDWW Communication Platform (CPaas) solution has been specifically designed to help growing businesses. In these challenging times, when many companies are facing financial constraints, DIDWW provides a customized pricing plan based on a pay-as-you-go structure to fit their needs.
Utilizing the highest standards possible, DIDWW guarantees complete reliability, while private interconnection, STRP, and TLS ensures maximum security. Companies can also enjoy direct peering and optimized routing procedures, giving them a premium voice service.
Large companies and enterprises will also be able to enjoy custom onboarding, with DIDWW working with each client to address their specific needs. Each DIDWW customer will also be able to take advantage of a dedicated support engineer and 24/7 customer service, ensuring that they will always be able to get the answers to their questions.
Acting as a one-stop-shop, DIDWW provides businesses with the required and fully compliant VoIP building blocks and tools to take their organization forward. Delivering a range of vanity and golden phone number options, DIDWW also provides a free and efficient porting service of all existing business phone numbers to maintain their brand identity.
Karolis Jurys, the Commercial Manager at DIDWW added, “In these challenging times, we understand that businesses are looking for cost-effective but powerful solutions to take their operations to the next level. DIDWW is proud to be offering a range of unique solutions that have been specifically designed to help businesses transform their communications through our unique all-in-one solution.
We pride ourselves on our customer service, and we provide a full 24/7 service, 365 days a year. Effective communication with your customers has never been more crucial, and our unique services can help you maximize your offering.”
NEXERA Launches Network API to Automate and Accelerate How Service Providers Connect Across Poland
NEXERA’s platform was developed in collaboration with Enxoo and delivers an API-centric operator model that increases the agility and speed that local players can interconnect.
Warszawa, 16 October 2020 – NEXERA, Poland’s first exclusively large-scale wholesale telecommunications operator, has launched a Network API that enables service providers to rapidly connect and deploy services across its infrastructure in Poland. Local service providers can use the API to extend their reach with visibility into inventory, automated processes and direct connectivity to one of Poland’s fastest growing high-capacity fibre-optic access networks.
NEXERA’s platform was developed in collaboration with Enxoo, a leading provider of cloud-based solutions for the telecoms industry. The platform enables NEXERA to present its services via API while expanding its capabilities through consuming third-party APIs in the future. Enxoo helped it to deploy a multi-cloud solution that includes the integration of OSS and BSS systems with its network infrastructure. The platform was developed to comply with both the TM Forum and the Metro Ethernet Forum’s (MEF) standards and recommendations.
“We are providing our partners with rapid access to network infrastructure across Poland. We’re removing the barriers to rolling out new services and automating processes to simplify and accelerate how they operate. Interoperability is crucial for the delivery of cohesive and consistent services across Poland and we’re proud to be enabling more partners to benefit from our services,” said Jacek Wiśniewski, CEO at NEXERA. “Automation, APIs and seamless experiences are the foundation for the future of our industry, and we’re excited to be leading this initiative in Poland. We look forward to collaborating with new partners and supporting the delivery of innovative applications and services in the local market.”
NEXERA is the first and largest wholesale-only Fibre to the Home (FTTH) operator in Poland with a Next Generation Access network of the 1,000,000 HPs target coverage. Network development is partially financed with European Funds under the Digital Poland Operation Program (POPC) while the majority of the investment is covered by NEXERA shareholders: Infracapital and Nokia.
“NEXERA is a visionary in the Polish market and together we have rolled out automation, analytics and an API-first strategy across its operations. The launch of its Network API means it can rapidly serve new demand from its partners and enable them to connect and deliver applications and services seamlessly,” said Artur Ostrowski, Chief Commercial Officer at Enxoo. “As a member of the TM Forum as well as the MEF, we recommend and implement solutions based on their guidelines. This implementation for NEXERA is a milestone in the development of standards in Poland and accelerates how the market works together.”
The Network API has been submitted as a Proof of Concept to the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF). It has been launched and is operational with one of one of the largest Internet Service Providers in the Polish market.
“We are the first purely wholesale operator of this scale in Poland based solely on a fibre-optic network, cooperating with many retail operators. We give end customers the opportunity to use the offers of up to seven retail operators, which is unique in the international scale. Therefore, our ambition was to create a single, universal system, setting the standards of operation of entities on the telecommunications market. We are proud that we managed to successfully implement this innovative system,” said Tomasz Wójcik, Business Operations & IT Manage, NEXERA.
CCS Becomes Approved Member of UK Wireless Internet Service Providers Association
Cambridge, UK, October, 2020 – Cambridge Communication Systems (CCS) Limited is pleased to announce that it has become an approved member of the UK Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (UKWISPA) – the recognised trade body for the fixed wireless access industry in the UK.
CCS joins UKWISPA at a pivotal time for the fixed wireless access (FWA) industry, as changing work patterns, a surge in remote education, and increasing moves to home-working due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continue to drive demand for faster broadband across residential and business communities. Ofcom, the regulating body of UK communications services, has also recently joined UKWISPA, whose aim is to help government bodies and the regulator understand the needs of – and the opportunities offered by – the UK fixed wireless access community to improve the UK broadband landscape.
CCS Executive Chairman Martin Harriman comments: “With Fixed Wireless Access now coming into its own as a way to meet the urgent demand for high-quality broadband, this is absolutely the right time for CCS to join the important UKWISPA community, and for us to contribute to the organisation’s mission of ensuring better quality internet access for everyone. Our Metnet 60G mmWave FWA solution provides an exceptional platform for Gigabit connectivity and virtual fibre services, and we are looking forward to bringing our experience to bear and working closely with UKWISPA and its members, and helping to serve the country’s connectivity needs throughout and beyond the current challenges.”
Working with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DDCMS) and its broadband delivery team, Building Digital UK, UKWISPA is helping to shape several voucher schemes, which use public funds to support the installation of ultra-high-speed internet access to properties that need it, through both fibre and wireless connectivity.
CCS Metnet 60G mmWave Fixed Wireless Access technology enables operators and service providers to rapidly deliver Gigabit services to residential and enterprise customers – from bustling urban centres to remote rural villages. CCS’s Metnet ultra-high capacity unlicensed 60G mmWave mesh system offers 12Gbps nodes with an all-round multi-radio view plus 1Gbps Metnet CPEs to deliver an unrivalled hybrid backhaul and Gigabit fixed wireless access (FWA) solution. Metnet’s 60G nodes and 60G CPEs connect autonomously and intelligently, forming a flexible mesh network powered by CCS’s advanced self-organising and self-healing SDN software.
Metnet offers an optimal Gigabit FWA solution for deployment spanning dense urban, suburban and rural areas, delivering high capacity and supporting low-cost FWA subscribers.
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