Legend passes 150,000 households in Abuja with 350 kms of cable offering double and triple play offers to householders

6 January 2017

Top Story

The steadily increasing roll-out of fibre in Africa’s cities is leading to a new breed of bandwidth providers offering fibre-to-the-home double and triple play offers. In the Nigerian capital Abuja Suburban Fibre Company is offering these services under the Legend brand. Russell Southwood spoke to its Chief Marketing Officer Gabriel Gab-Umoden.

Suburban Fibre Company used to run a fibre route to nearby Benin that had its heyday when Nitel was running the SAT3 landing station very badly. As part of that business, it had a metronet network in the Nigerian capital Abuja has now morphed into a fibre-to-the-home provider, offering double and triple play service offerings.

It has now built out a 350 kms backbone that passes 150,000 houses:”We have 1,500 subscribers and growing. The major barrier is access to the actual homes on estates and in gated communities.”

To overcome this barrier, it has partnered with property developer Brains and Hammers in October 2016 and will be running fibre to 3,000 of their properties in estates across the city:”Thus far they don’t have these services and we expect to see a high take-up. We’re looking at both people who own and rent their homes but we’re more focused on private homes.”

The double play offer has an 8mbps Internet connection and either TV on demand or voice with local and international calling for N23,000 (US$72.94) a month or there is the Triple Play offer with all three for N35,700 (US$113.23) a month. You can also add a Wi-Fi hot-spot to cover your home. In addition there is the Legend Lite App which allows the customer access to their content on a smartphone or tablet.

It is selling the Wi-Fi hot-spot product in popular locations in the city and existing customers access them for free, whilst non-customers pay to access. It is a voucher based system and there are currently 59 hot-spots:”We want to get to 200 by the end of the year.”

The TV on demand service has TV series, films, documentaries and 40 live TV channels:”They have access to Box Office content on a Pay per View basis. It’s more international than local at the moment but local will grow over the next few months.” For voice, the customer gets an allocation of minutes for local and international calls that can be used with a standard phone on a local fixed line.

It sees the fixed wireless operators as their competition “even tough they don’t offer comparable services.” It has plans to expand to Lagos:”We had services in Lagos in the past and we plan to go back there but it will be another 12 months before we do it.”

So what are customers mainly using the service for?:”Most use it to consume content: short and long-form video streaming and downloads. They also use it for basic Internet and social media access. With a reliable connection, new habits are evolving and that will be around long-form video. We believe that the time for the focus on infrastructure has passed. There’s enough infrastructure in the market and the customer now needs a value for money based on experience rather than infrastructure.”

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