Tizeti is a Nigerian telecommunications startup founded in Lagos. They provide high-speed broadband Internet access to homes, businesses and events via public WiFi hotspots located across the country. Their goal is to make problems like spotty connections, expensive service and lack of options a thing of the past and so far, their services are available at over 5,000 locations.
Tizeti, which is still based out of Lagos, intends to be a one-stop shop for residential and business customers looking for voice, video and data services. The staff is extensively experienced and able to tailor available products to the unique needs of their customers. Their wider mission is to bring affordable and reliable Wi-Fi coverage to Nigeria and then spread to the rest of the African continent and hopefully overseas. Rather than outsourcing work to large telecommunication companies, Tizeti lowers costs by creating their own solar panel powered networks throughout Lagos. Currently, they have established over 3,000 hotspots in Lagos alone, which are open to the public.
Founded in 2012, their goal was firstly to ensure that Nigerians could have access to reliable Internet connections using unlimited, fast Wi-Fi that didn’t have a usage cap. The demographic is a promising one as well; Nigeria has the most Internet users out of any country in Africa and holds the largest population out of all African countries, making it also the seventh largest population in the world. The increased use of solar technology in Nigeria means that costs are lower for solar power and that it’s easier to use it as a renewable energy supply.
Kendall Ananyi, co-founder and CEO of Tizeti has a master’s degree in computer engineering from the University of Victoria in Canada. With over a decade of telecommunication and software experience as well as jobs at various firms, he acquired an in-depth knowledge of Wi-Fi networks and project management.
Ifeanyi Okonkwo, the other co-founder and COO of Tizeti has master’s degree in quality management from the University of Salford in the UK. He has a decade of experience in telecommunications and has worked for multiple firms as well.
The site that customers can use to purchase or upgrade plans is called WiFi.com.ng. Residential customers can choose between residential unlimited Wi-Fi for NGN 9500 (approximately $26.69) a month, residential pro Internet for NGN 5700 (about $16.01) or a residential yearly plan for NGN 114000 (about $320.23) a year. Business customers would have to contact Tizeti for more information on the pricing relevant to their needs.
The installation fee is NGN 30,500 (approximately $85.67) and it covers both installation and cabling. Payments can be made on their payment portal, by bank transfer, check or phone and the equipment remains the possession of Tizeti so no additional costs are paid to rent or own it. Currently, they offer unlimited Internet, WiFi hotspots, US IP address services and event and hotel Wi-Fi.
Wifi.com.ng is leveraging the large wireless capacity available with Wi-Fi to offer disruptive, customer-friendly pricing for unlimited Internet service right across Nigeria.
Tizeti’s strategy to capture emerging markets means that they will first build as many small scale towers, as affordably as possible to offer services at a rate that locals can afford and in areas where the population is most dense. Many of solutions established for rural areas, like Internet-enabled balloons and drones are not as effective for more densely populated, urban areas.
Their target group is the emerging middle class in Africa for whom their products will not be significantly expensive. According to co-founder Kendall Ananyi, out of 1.2 billion Africans, less than 30% of them are online and most of them are accessing the Internet through their mobile phones, a demographic they specifically cater to.
Their current challenges have moved away from using solar power as their main source of energy and towards assuring that they have the proper licensing to be able to offer the best quality connection for customers. As they expand, they hope to become a household name and a go-to source for Internet services over larger, better-known Internet companies which typically charge higher prices.