Tata Communications Transformation Services, Africa Development Solutions partner to bridge digital divide


Tata Communications Transformation Services Limited (TCTS), a leading Telco transformation and managed services provider, is partnering with Africa Development Solutions (ADS Group) to facilitate building the fibre infrastructure backbone across Africa and enable a digital economy that can empower societies and communities, in line with the Smart Africa vision.

TCTS will perform pre-feasibility assessments with ADS for African nations, studying existing as well as planned fibre infrastructure and deploy a strong multi-country connectivity infrastructure backbone.

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) enabled innovations can drive economic opportunities across industries, benefitting consumers, businesses and governments. The Smart Africa initiative prioritises ICT as a key enabler and the pivot to drive the continent’s socio-economic development agenda.

The initiative works towards improving scalability and accessibility of connectivity within and to urban, suburban and rural areas in Africa. This partnership between TCTS and ADS aims to drive deployment of ICT in the continent with the aim to promote equitable and sustainable development across African nations.

As a first step, TCTS and ADS are jointly coordinating the delivery of the ‘Western African Digital Pool’, which consists of deploying internet connectivity over 7 African countries, including Guinea-Conakry, Guinea-Bissau, Sierra-Leone, Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia and Mali.

This project will be conducted in conjunction with Smart Africa and is considered a major step towards the implementation of a single digital market in Africa. Proposed technologies may include aerial fibre and free space optical cables to ensure fast deployment, and best quality at affordable prices. TCTS and ADS plan to deliver the required infrastructure upon completion of the preliminary studies, currently undergoing the first phase.

Madhusudhan Mysore, Executive Chairman & CEO, Tata Communications Transformation Services says: “Over the past few years, ICT has emerged as a significant contributor to the African economy. At TCTS, we see this as an important landmark in the evolution of digital economy in Africa as connectivity becomes a prerequisite to the socio-economic development of the continent. TCTS has vast experience in leading Telcos in Africa to accelerate and de-risk their transformation journey. Our partnership with ADS will further strengthen TCTS’ presence in Africa and enable us to contribute more broadly in the knowledge sharing and nation building initiatives that will enhance competitiveness of the African continent.”

TCTS’ experience, spanning 10+ years, in transforming, simplifying and managing global networks offers ADS an edge in terms of market awareness, product knowledge, best practices and multi-vendor domain skills that can enable ADS to deliver real world success and value to customers.

With an extensive experience in supporting the development of fibre networks and innovative IT solutions designed for rural areas, where nearly 65% of the African population still lives today, ADS will be a partner of choice for TCTS. “It is great to see that a renowned expert in ICT networks deployment like TCTS is ready to further commit to Africa’s development”, said Samba Bathily, Founder and CEO of Africa Development Solutions. “We therefore look forward to working with TCTS teams and bring them our field experience and our own expertise in project assessment, management and financing. ICT access will be a game-changer and a growth-driver for the continent. We just need the infrastructure to create economic opportunities for our communities and unleash African talent and creativity,” he added.

TCTS manages one of the largest and most extensive fibre networks, consisting of over 500,000 kilometres subsea fibre and over 210,000 kilometres of terrestrial fibre, and has a strong track record in rapidly scaling resources and skills required for large scale design and roll-out of fibre infrastructure. With automation at the heart of its operations, TCTS provides expertise in planning, designing, roll-out, construction, activation and assurance of fibre network, along with streamlining industry standards and home grown processes to maximise efficiency.

TCTS and ADS showcased the next-generation communications infrastructure and roadmap that aims to transform Africa into an integrated single digital market, at the Transform Africa Summit 2019 in Kigali. TCTS and ADS conducted a workshop on Building a Single Digital Market for Africa, showcasing their respective experiences in next generation technologies enabling digital transformation and reducing digital divide by accelerating access to affordable and abundant internet using FSOC (Free Space Optical Communications), building Smart City & IoT networks, implementing and scaling-up the smart villages concept delivering E-health through Virtual clinics and bringing connectivity to the unconnected areas through Subsea networks and Safety through Cyber Security response centres.