Telecommunication services in Seychelles will get a boost from a new cable system that will be leased by Intelvision, a local service provider, with support from the International Finance Corporation (IFC).
The new cable system is expected to be in place in early 2023. IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, said in a statement that the support it will provide includes up to a $10 million loan from its own account and an additional loan of $10 million mobilized from partners under the Managed Co-Lending Portfolio Programme (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 which will complement the existing Seychelles East Africa System and is expected to lower the cost of connectivity for telecom operators in the island nation 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 of Intelvision.
Intelvision Seychelles started its operations on October 9, 2004, and provides a diverse range of telecommunication services including television and internet in the island nation in the western Indian Ocean.
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.
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 the main island of Mahe and the inner islands.
"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.
IFC is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets.
The Corporation's country manager for Seychelles, Marcelle Ayo, said that "by working with Intelvision to expand Seychelles' digital offering, we can help the country meet the growing demand for Internet connectivity while helping to lower prices to build a strong foundation for the country's digital economic development."