Intelvision, a triple-play (Internet, TV, Voice) operator based & operating in Seychelles, has their sights set on bringing 5G to the islands, proving that Seychelles is a competitive force in the telecom industry. Currently, Intelvision provides internet service to almost 65% of residential and 5% of businesses in Seychelles. They offer fixed lines and television services, in which Intelvision dominates about 85% of the market.
The project is being financed through partnership with World Bank member the International Finance Corporation (IFC). The international development institution approved a loan of $20 million to the company. The funding, approved late in 2021, will enable Intelvision to lease a new cable being built by British multinational telecommunications company Vodafone as a branch of the 2Africa cable network, one of the largest subsea telecoms cable projects in the world, spanning 37,000 kilometres and connecting 26 countries.
The new cable will complement the existing Seychelles East Africa System and is expected to lower the cost of connectivity for operators on the islands and increase competition. The new cable system will deliver over 600 Gbps of international bandwidth to Intelvision, improving connectivity and increasing both the speed & carrying capacity of Intelvision’s previously existing fibre optic and hybrid fibre networks.
Intelvision has concluded a 15-year lease agreement with Vodafone, through which the company will provide mobile telephone services throughout Seychelles. The aim of the collaboration will be to allow for the providing of 4G and 5G mobile networks across the entirety of Mahé and the other inner islands. Intelvision chairman Mukesh Valabhji, who founded the company in the early 2000s, stated that “I believe it will revolutionize the way we experience the internet here in Seychelles. We are glad to collaborate with Vodafone and IFC in the face of the pandemic (COVID-19). Our goal is to improve Seychelles’ telecommunications infrastructure and expand our digital offerings to the islanders.”
“By working with Intelvision to expand Seychelles’ digital offering, we can help the country meet the growing demand for internet connectivity while also helping to lower prices, laying a strong foundation for the country’s digital economic development,” said Marcelle Ayo, IFC country manager for Seychelles.
Vodafone is a leading telecommunications company in Europe and Africa, the largest mobile and fixed network operator in Europe and a leading global IoT connectivity provider, operating mobile, and fixed networks in 21 countries and partnered with mobile networks in 49 more which serve over 300m mobile customers, more than 28m fixed broadband customers, over 22m TV customers and connect 130m IoT devices.
The broadband boost which will be provided by the partnership between Intelvision & Vodafone will certainly be a boon to the local economy which has suffered significantly in past years. Africa has proven fertile ground for cutting-edge developments in mobile/telecoms industries previously, as evidenced by Vodafone’s own M-Pesa technology platform which enables over 50 million people to benefit from access to mobile payments across the continent. The Seychelles, with a highly connected, centralized population will likely be the site of continued interesting developments in the industry soon.