IFC supports Intelvision to strengthen broadband internet network in Seychelles
Broadband network and digital services offered in Seychelles will get a boost from a new cable system that will be leased by Seychelles-based telecommunications provider Intelvision, with support from IFC.
IFC's support to Intelvision, which provides data, Internet, and Internet-based voice services as well as pay-TV, includes an up to $10 million loan from its own account and an additional loan of $10 million mobilized from partners under the Managed Co-Lending Portfolio Program (MCPP). The funding will enable Intelvision to lease a new cable being built by Vodafone Carrier Services as a branch of the 2Africa cable network, one of the largest subsea projects in the world, spanning over 37,000 kilometers and connecting 26 countries around the world.
The new cable will complement the existing Seychelles East Africa System and is expected to lower the cost of connectivity for telecom operators on the islands and increase competition for fixed broadband and mobile data services.
"I think it will revolutionize the way we experience the internet here in Seychelles. We are pleased to work together with Vodafone and IFC amidst the challenges of the pandemic. Our aim is to enhance the telecommunication infrastructure of Seychelles and strengthen our digital offering to the people of Seychelles," said Mukesh Valabhji, Chairman, Intelvision. "Our innovative products and services will continue to add value to the ever-growing demands for Internet connectivity. We have been at the forefront of offering affordable connectivity solutions to the Seychellois Nation and we intend to continue on the same path."
The new cable system will deliver over 600Gbps of international bandwidth to Intelvision and will represent a significant step-up with respect to connectivity speeds for households and business customers. The cable will also increase the speed and capacity of Intelvision's existing Fibre Optic & Hybrid Fibre Coaxial Networks.
"Better connectivity is tremendously important for powering economic and societal growth. Vodafone is committed to improving the availability, resilience and speed of Internet connections around the world, and this project to link the Seychelles with the ambitious 2Africa subsea cable will underpin future growth for the country and its citizens," said Nick Gliddon, Director of Vodafone Carrier Services.
Through the 15-year lease agreement with Vodafone, Intelvision plans to launch mobile telephony services in Seychelles, a country where most consumers access the Internet through a mobile phone. The new cable system will also allow Intelvision to eventually expand its terrestrial network by providing 4G and 5G mobile networks to the whole of Mahé and the inner islands.
"By working with Intelvision to expand Seychelles' digital offering, we can help the country meet growing demand for Internet connectivity while helping to lower prices to build a strong foundation for the country's digital economic development," said Marcelle Ayo, IFC's Country Manager for Seychelles.
Seychelles' economy relies heavily on tourism, accounting for 30 percent of GDP, which has suffered due to COVID-19-related travel disruption. Seychelles' government is focused on strengthening the digital economy to support recovery and the next phase of the country's economic growth.