Tata Communications Transformation Services Limited (TCTS), a telco transformation and managed services provider, is partnering with Africa Development Solutions (ADS Group) to facilitate building the fibre infrastructure backbone across Africa.

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.

TCTS’s 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.

The 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 seven African countries, including Guinea-Conakry, Guinea-Bissau, Sierra-Leone, Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia and Mali.

The 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 and CEO of TCTS, 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 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 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,” says 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.”

TCTS manages one of the largest and most extensive fibre networks, consisting of over 500 000km of subsea fibre and over 210 000km 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.