West African connectivity and data centre solutions providers Tizeti Network and MainOne have partnered with Facebook in Nigeria to improve internet connectivity in Lagos.
According to a joint statement from MainOne and Tizeti, the partnership will leverage MainOne's fibre connectivity, Tizeti's 20 new solar-powered towers, and Facebook's Express Wi-Fi.
"As a result of this project, internet services will be more accessible across Lagos Mainland including Ajao Estate, Surulere, Ikeja, Omole, Magodo, Gbagada, Oworonshoki, Bariga, Anthony Village, Ogudu, Ojota, Ketu and Alapere," reads an excerpt from the statement.
Kendall Ananyi, CEO of Tizeti said access to fast and reliable unlimited Wi-Fi connectivity has been a problem for most Nigerian residential customers and small businesses for too long.
"This partnership aims to demonstrate a sustainable and cost-effective solution to the under-served areas of Lagos State through our solar-powered, always-on Wi-Fi towers, and robust internet bandwidth from MainOne."
Tizeti has built and will operate the solar-powered Wi-Fi Towers across Lagos, while MainOne will provide multiple Gbps internet bandwidth to the outdoor towers via a mix of fibre-optic and microwave backhaul connections, note the companies.
"This internet service will be delivered to end users via Wi-Fi, including via Express Wi-Fi hotspots deployed by Tizeti in Lagos. This partnership supports the three partners' shared goal of connecting more people to high-quality internet services in the most cost-effective way."
MainOne's CEO Funke Opeke said, "This project leverages our internet capacity, investment in terrestrial fibre-optic infrastructure and points of presence for service delivery across Lagos State. We're committed to improving the quality of access and accelerating the digital transformation of small businesses."
Last month, Facebook partnered with Nigerian technology-oriented centre Co-Creation Hub (Cc-HUB) to open its very first community hub space on the continent, with a commitment to also facilitate a series of long-term impact training programmes for 50 000 Nigerians.
Facebook said its increased commitment to Nigeria, where it is the most commonly used social media platform, is largely due to the fact that the country is producing a new generation of "exciting start-ups that have incredible potential."
Ebele Okobi, Facebook public policy director, Africa said the company's investments and commitments announced in the country reflect its intent to partner with Nigeria's policymakers and its vibrant tech and entrepreneurial eco-system to create economic opportunity and independence in Nigeria and across Africa.
Nigeria's Communications Commission (NCC) recently stated that it would be stepping up efforts to solicit input from internet stakeholders, including Facebook, to cement its new draft code of practice in support of net neutrality and an open internet in the country.