Togo First reports that the government of Togo, in an effort to ensure the provision of universal electronic communications services in the country, formally adopted a draft decree on 18 April 2018 that defines the rules applying to such a service. In short, the new decree is aimed at ensuring that the state can ‘provide all citizens, regardless of their place of residence or level of income, full access to electronic communications’. Togo is keen to improve household internet penetration rates in the tiny African nation which according to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database languishes at 3%, compared to the regional average of around 7%, as well as driving down retail prices provided by domestic telcos.
To help realise its goals the government has issued new licences to broadband start-ups TEOLIS and GVA (Group Vivendi Africa). The former, a wholly owned Togolese venture, officially launched on 22 February 2018, with plans to extend its footprint countrywide in the second half of this year. Currently, the newcomer’s high speed data services are limited to the capital Lome and its environs, offering enterprise customers a choice of two packages under the ‘Business’ and ‘Smart Pro’ banners, but from 2H18 it intends to blanket Togo and simultaneously launch consumer (residential) offers on its network. TEOLIS’ network is centred around broadband fixed-wireless and mobile technology supplied by RADWIN – a wireless broadband manufacturer specialising in wireless point-to-point, wireless point-to-multipoint and wireless mobility solutions. GVA, meanwhile, reportedly launch its new fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network in the capital Lome on 22 March 2018 and plans to expand its service coverage in other areas once it has established itself. Furthermore, earlier this month the state also launched a network of public Wi-Fi hotspots in the capital Lome (the Carrefour Deckon, the port area, the University of Lome, Independence Square, and at a number of hotels, bars and restaurants), with the ultimate aim of blanketing the nation with high-quality internet connectivity. By 2030, Togo expects that all those with no internet at home would have access to a hotspot nearby, ‘that is within a 5km range at least’.