Based on its recent analysis of the broadband market, Frost & Sullivan has recognised iBurst DRC with the 2011 West and Central Africa Frost & Sullivan Growth Leadership Award.
Since its market entry in December 2008, the company has rapidly become one of the largest internet service providers (ISP) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)’s broadband market, successfully competing with more established CDMA operators and GSM. At the end of 2009, iBurst DRC had enjoyed dramatic uptake of its broadband services, reaching over 5 000 subscribers in less than 12 months.
“In comparison to its competitors, the company has demonstrated its ability to grow in the price-sensitive Congolese market,” comments Frost & Sullivan’s ICT research analyst Mervin Miemoukanda. “Although DRC was hard hit by the global recession in 2009, iBurst DRC’s subscriber base grew significantly – an outstanding achievement, as most of its rivals have, in contrast, seen their subscriber bases shrink year-on-year.”
Prior to iBurst’s entry, CDMA operators and GSM were the only ones providing broadband services to the mass residential market, albeit at exorbitant rates. iBurst DRC astutely positioned itself as a market leader in the provision of broadband services to small and medium business and the mass residential market in DRC.
“iBurst’s pricing model has been designed to attract low and middle income households on the one hand, and small, medium and corporate businesses on the other,” explains Miemoukanda. “Following effective customer segmentation, iBurst has successfully provided tailored products and tariffs to residential customers in urban areas in Kinshasa.”
After carrying out an indepth analysis of residential customers’ needs, the company introduced low denomination vouchers, starting at 10 $, to boost the uptake of its broadband services.
“The market has reacted well to this offering, resulting in the strong uptake of iBurst’s broadband services,” says Miemoukanda. “This strategy has enabled the company to stay ahead of the competition in terms of broadband tariffs in the mass residential market.”
With these vouchers, iBurst DRC has acquired almost 10 000 subscribers, mainly in Kinshasa, representing a market share of almost 35 per cent. This is an outstanding achievement considering the price sensitivity and low-disposable income of the consumer segment.
iBurst Africa DRC has also been able to establish itself as a leading provider of stable, value for money internet services to the corporate market in the DRC, with its product iSpeed, allowing clients to select from a range of bandwidth options to suit their needs and budgets. iSpeed has been established as the option of choice to corporates in Kinshasa and still enjoys growth in market penetration, through innovative pricing and promotional offers.
The Frost & Sullivan Award for Growth Leadership is presented to the company that has demonstrated excellence in capturing the highest annual compound growth rate for the last three years.