Newly established state-owned infrastructure company Botswana Fibre Networks (BoFINET) is planning to reduce wholesale tariffs by up to 25% in the next six months, the Botswana Gazette quotes company board chairman Ratsela Mooketsi as saying. BoFINET, which was established last year following the restructuring of fixed line incumbent Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC), was officially launched as a provider of wholesale telecoms services in October. ‘I cannot sum it yet but [wholesale prices] may go down by approximately 20%-25%’, Mooketsi said, adding: ‘This is to catalyse competition in the market to breed better prices and good services which are beneficial to the consumer at the end. We entered the market at a lower price and if we are able to lower the costs, the ultimate consumer will get lower costs.’
TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that BoFINET is responsible for operating the country’s nationwide backbone infrastructure, as well as managing the government’s participation in the Eastern Africa Submarine System (EASSy) and the West Africa Cable System (WACS). The separation of BTC into a retail service provider (BTC Limited) and an infrastructure company (BoFINET) is an initial step towards the planned privatisation of BTC Limited, which will see up to 49% of the company’s shares sold via an initial public offering (IPO).