- Sector: Technology & Telecoms
- Country of operations: Uganda
Making the connection
Fewer than half of the world’s people are able to use the internet, and connections may be slow and unreliable for those who are online. The key problem is often poor infrastructure, something which CSquared is trying to address by developing modern telecoms networks.
“We believe broadband connectivity can transform communities and bring about sustained economic development,” says Alexander Kiel, Group CFO. “We provide open-access infrastructure to meet the needs of young and growing populations in Africa.”
The company’s story began in Uganda, where it built a fibre network in the greater Kampala area in 2013. Since then, it has expanded into Ghana and Liberia in West Africa and it now has more than 1,500 fibre connections to towers and buildings serving millions of end users.
The business model is to act as a neutral wholesaler, with CSquared offering its network to mobile network operators and internet service providers who can then reach out to sign up customers. “This helps avoid costly duplication of infrastructure and ultimately leads to better connectivity for all,” says Alexander. “Early on, being a neutral wholesale infrastructure operator helped establish us as the infrastructure operator of choice for service providers, since we do not compete with them in the retail space.”
CSquared has some heavyweight shareholders behind it, including the likes of tech giant Google, Japan’s Mitsui & Co and the International Finance Corporation, part of the World Bank Group. Their support is enabling the company to expand further around the continent and to develop products to enhance broadband adoption.
“These shareholders have a long-term vision around increasing access to broadband internet in Africa and have committed significant capital for expansion into more markets,” says Alexander.