Fibertime receives R39.9m cash injection

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer
Johannesburg, 17 Nov 2023
Fibertime offers connectivity for R5 for 24 hours of up to 100Mbps uncapped internet.
Fibertime offers connectivity for R5 for 24 hours of up to 100Mbps uncapped internet.

Finnish development financier Finnfund has invested €2 million (R39.9 million) in the Fibertime Group.

Fibertime offers fast, uncapped and time-based open-access fibre internet to townships, while also providing a gateway to initiate micro-payments for accessing the internet.

“Tackling the usage gap is key in providing reliable and most importantly affordable access to the internet for individuals who are sensitive to the cost of data,” says Niklas Simola, investment manager at Finnfund.

“We are happy to partner with Fibertime and to be a part of their ambitious plans to bring fibre internet to townships, as well as bridge the cash and digital economies.”

Fibertime Group initially launched itsKayamandi Fibre Project fibre-to-the-home pilot last year in Kayamandi Township, in Stellenbosch, near Cape Town.

The project, the brainchild of Alan Knott-Craig Jr, is a collaborative effort run in partnership with Nokia, Liquid Intelligent Technologies and other players.

It does not involve trenching, but provides Kayamandi households with free installation and router, and vouchers available in increments of R5 for 24 hours of 100Mbps uncapped internet.

Nokia provides fibre access nodes for the fibre exchange and fibre modems to create a WiFi network across the entire township.

Fibertime initially connected over 1 000 homes, providing them with unlimited data, but on a time-based and pay-as-you-go model, while VulaCoin provides digital wallets to initiate micropayments.

“Of course, as a Finnish development financier and impact investor, we are proud to see that Nokia’s technology has such a crucial role in making this happen,” Simola comments.

“Moreover, digital inclusion is something that both Nokia and Finnfund are passionate about.”

“Fibre has proven to be the premium connectivity option for South African townships. It allows us to provide affordable and uncapped internet, which has become an essential requirement for home workers and learners,” adds Naveed Kashif, head of Southern Africa market at Nokia.

“Through this innovative approach to providing affordable internet without compromising on quality, we are, together with our partners, making digital inclusion a reality.”