Swiss-owned Guinea-Bissau start-up CAJUTEL has laid down ambitious plans to deploy a solar-powered high speed broadband internet network across Guinea-Bissau and neighbouring countries. The company plans to finance the rollout via a virtual currency fundraiser, issuing 720,000 chips and an additional 60,000 shares to pay premiums and advertising costs. According to CAJUTEL’s website, one million – out of 1.78 million outstanding chips – will be retained by existing shareholders. Each chip will represent a share of the company and voting rights of the same value.
‘CAJUTEL will bring affordable, reliable internet communication to the local market and is focused to provide the best performing mobile data network for Guinea-Bissau and Guinea. CAJUTEL will be the fastest internet provider in the area for the public, outperforming the existing operators offering by a factor of 10x to 100x with an at least 30% cheaper price,’ the Swiss-backed firm said in the statement. The newcomer is looking to raise USD30 million to cover Guinea-Bissau and Guinea with the new state-of-the-art, solar-powered broadband network, adding a rider that USD12 million is the minimum it will need to embark on a slower rollout covering just Guinea-Bissau. CAJUTEL is currently in the process of acquiring all the requisite licences for its new operation and is working on a draft rollout plan to cover 75% of Guinea-Bissau’s population with high speed internet access within two years. ‘The network infrastructure is in the final stage of being chosen based on previous experiences of the various vendors picked. Network planning is done in house and completed for the first phase of the network,’ it says. With the Guinea-Bissau fixed internet subscriber base standing at fewer than 5,000 connections CAJUTEL believes that its new low-cost option – it aims to cut monthly subscription fees from USD50 to USD9 – will be extended to reach remote rural areas as well. ‘Even though the market in Guinea-Bissau is relatively limited (there are two million potential customers), and the business case is aiming for a very pessimistic 5% population share in four years, it still provides a high return of investment and a high profitability,’ CAJUTEL said.