Tizeti, a Nigerian based internet service provider, which uses solar-powered towers to deliver connectivity has launched its first 4G LTE network and ISP services in Port Harcourt.
The launch comes after the startup successfully built its premier 4G-capable tower in the city.
Kendall Ananyi, CEO and co-founder of Tizeti explained that the company was leveraging the plummeting cost of solar panels to provide cheaper data plans while speaking with TechCrunch.
“We leverage inexpensive wireless capacity and plummeting cost of solar panels to create a low capex and opex network of owned and operated towers. We’re able to offer customers unlimited internet at 30 to 50% the cost of traditional mobile data plans”.Kendall Ananyi, CEO and co-founder of Tizeti
Tizeti offers its unlimited data plan at N9,500. In addition to ISP services, the startup launched a Skype-like personal and business enterprise communications service, WiFiCall.ng in April 2019.
The start-up currently has over 1.1 million unique users and has a partnership with West African broadband provider MainOne and Facebook’s Express Wi-Fi to provide internet service packages.
In Nigeria, Tizeti is primarily based in Lagos. The 4G LTE’s launch in Port Harcourt in River State comes after expanding to Ghana earlier this year. According to Ananyi, Tizeti plans to take its model to additional West African countries in 2020.
Backed by Y Combinator, the startup raised a $3 million Series A round in 2018 and has built its network using solar-powered towers to create cheaper data that can attract more users.
Speaking on the availability of market, Ananyi said not their service is not for everyone.
“Not everyone’s gonna sign up but we know we have 20 million in Lagos and 1.8 million in Port Harcourt; so even if we get 10%, that it’s a huge number for us,”Kendall Ananyi, CEO and co-founder of Tizeti
Nigeria currently has over 123 million internet users, and a huge number of tech startups as Africa’s largest economy and population, but many people are still affected by the country’s 33% internet penetration rate.
Startups like Tizeti can help to bridge the gap with technology innovations that solve the energy problem and produce a cheaper mode of penetration.