Bayobab Seeks to Expand its Fiber Optic Network Across Africa

Bayobab is a Panafrican company which handles the wholesale fiber transmission and long-haul broadband and is an offshoot of African telco giant MTN headquartered in South Africa. As part of its “Ambition 2025” strategy, Bayobab has acquired licenses in nine countries to expand its footprint across the continent during 2023.

For instance, MTN Zambia transferred its fiber transmission backbone infrasturcture under Bayobab. The new entity Bayobab has also invested in the submarine fiber optic cable 2Africa with landing stations in Nigeria and Ghana.

It is to be recalled that Bayobab came into being when MTN GlobalConnect underwent rebranding in June 2023. By separating itself from MTN, Bayobab positions itself to provide reliable and affordable broadband via fiber to other telcos across Africa, or what is sometimes referred to as Network-as-a-Service (NaaS).

As of 31st December 2023, Bayobab owns and operates a 114,000-km fiber optic network across Africa. By 2025, the network is expected to expand to 135,000 km in length. In addition to inland fiber assets, Bayobab boasts access to 16 submarine cables.

Bayobab Panafrican Optical Network

The “Ambition 2025” strategy will serve the growing appetite for broadband driven by demands from of smartphone subscribers and video streaming. According to a study, mobile data traffic in Africa is forecasted to increase sixfold from 1.27 exabytes monthly in 2021 to 7.63 exabytes monthly by 2027.

In May 2023, Bayobab and Africa50 signed an agreement to implement the East2West terrestrial fiber network by linking up East Africa to West Africa. Based on the agreement, Africa50 will provide financing to the tune of USD 320 million. Through its Panafrican optical network, Bayobab will thus contribute to enhance broadband #connectivity across Africa.