The continuation of our series dedicated to transformations of the Guinean economy, the country Alpha Condé is very late on the Internet, but this delay can be compensated with the arrival of optical fiber. China has funded the construction of a public fiber optic network, known under the “backbone” of Anglicism. It is now entering the marketing phase. The traffic on the two buried loops over 4400 km, which crosses the entire territory, will now be able to be rented out to operators, who will then offer commercial offers.
Online courses, telemedicine, video conferencing: the use of optical fiber is endless. To catch up and serve the entire territory, even in unprofitable areas, Guinea has chosen to build its infrastructure at once rather than leave the work to operators.
Sanoussy Dabo, CEO of Guinean National Backbone Management Company: “This means 4,432 kilometers of optical fiber in all prefectures and through large villages. The backbone also goes to the limits of possibly being able to transport power in the event of a network failure. ”
The site started in 2015 and was planned for two years was delayed due to the hardness of the soil in the mountainous area according to its director. Even today, the network frequently suffers from cuts due to mining or roadworks.
For Alpha Diallo, president of the Guinea Bloggers Association, it is still too early for consumers to rejoice. “The risk is to see the rental costs increase, and therefore see the operators who rent the network forward these costs to the consumer. We are therefore waiting to see the operators’ offers before we show our enthusiasm. ”
Private sector players also insist on facilitating access if prices are prohibitive, it has been for nothing, according to one of their representatives. Sanoussy Dabo: “We will be tempted to consume more and with economies of scale, costs must fall rapidly.”
Project costs: $ 238 million, 90% financed by Chinese cooperation through Eximbank and 10% by the government. The installation is performed by the Chinese company Huawei.
To repay the loan over 30 years from 2023, the state intends to open the capital in SOGEB and is currently looking for shareholders.