Since 16 December Côte d’Ivoire Télécom has joined the growing list of African countries offering ADSL, writes Mounir Diawara. In the first instance during the launch phase, it will only be offering 128 Kbps downstream and 64 Kbps upstream. Not exactly full speed broadband but a start. Only subscribers within 4 km of the following exchanges will be able to get the service: Cocody centre, 2-plateaux ENA, Angré, Bietry, Treichville.

Côte d’Ivoire Télécom will be relying on local ISPs to sell the service. It is therefore offering ISPs near to these exchanges the opportunity to register: 1,500,000 Fcfa HT for a fixed downpayment and 1,000,000 Fcfa HT a month thereafter)

The process of installing the line for a client involves "pre-qualification": the client has to be the right distance from the exchange and if it is, Côte d’Ivoire Télécom is promising to complete these formalities within 72 hours. If this stage is cleared and the client makes the payment for the ADSL service, Côte d’Ivoire Télécom will send a kit consisting of a Thomson USB modem, an installation CD and a filter for the line used. The ISP then takes charge of the installation.

There are about 50 trial customers (mainly CI Telecom employees or those near to the phone company). The client has both internet access and a telephone line. The cost to the client is a down-payment of 45,000 Fcfa and then the same sum monthly thereafter. The Thomson modem also costs 120,000 Fcfa. It then also has to buy a subscription to the ISP that handled the installation.

The decision to open out sales of ADSL beyond its own internet subsidiary is part of the company preparing for the end of its monopoly on 4 February next month.

LIRE EN FRANCAIS APRES 15.00 GMT, 5 JANVIER: http://www.balancingact-africa.com/news/french.html