With 800 sites installed, Afrique Telecom lists on Euronext Paris
On Thursday 22 November 2012, French-headquartered African VSAT operator Afrique Telecom officially announced that it has listed on the Euronext Paris "Marche Libre" unregulated market during a ceremony held in Paris and attended by 75 guests, writes Sylvain Béletre from analyst house 'Balancing Act'.
The move is aimed at raising visibility with investors and to prepare for entry on NYSE Alternext in a few years, CEO Philippe Tintignac said.
The company has already taken advantage of the huge demand for reliable broadband internet access across the African continent.
This first introduction, advised and directed by Arkeon Finance can be partly explained by the presence of 25% share in the company's assets managed by Arkeon Finance's subsidiary "Arkeon Gestion". Arnaud Filhol, Chairman of the Board of Management at Arkeon explained that it only took them about 2 months to invest in the company.
Afrique Telecom's SpaceDSL service allowing broadband Internet via satellite - supported by Eutelsat and Newtec - was launched on January 18, 2012 in 32 African countries and was originally targeting Francophone regions. SpaceDSL is a mini-Vsat kit that includes a dish, cables and modem with a self-installation manual for EUR 750, offering up to 4 Mbps download speeds on a pay-per-use basis. It also sells bigger dishes and services to large accounts at a cost of EUR 7,000 each.
Around 800 sites have been installed since the start of the year, and the company expects to deliver 10,000 units by 2014 for a turnover of around EUR 10 million.
The objective is to extend internet access especially in remote rural areas where there is no other broadband internet access alternatives. Affordable TV and VoiP options could be added to the service.
Despite the arrival of optical fibre networks cables along the coasts and of 3G networks around major cities, lack of broadband internet remains an economic and social issue in the rest of this huge African continent.
Afrique Telecom has 15 employees and annual revenue of EUR 3 million.
The company has a network of partners across Africa and is currently looking for more resellers. "So far clients are satisfied with the service and we get a lot of positive word of mouth" confirmed CEO Philippe Tintignac during the event, adding that it will increase its satellite coverage.