The rigmarole about the increase in taxes levied by the Government of Liberia on local telecommunications service providers, especially for voice calls, has seen a growing number of subscribers channel their phone calls through the internet. One might observe that the consumer trend aims not so much to save on the cost per phone call as it might be to embrace a more superior value proposition made possible via the internet as a platform for calls, text and video. Well, consumers will soon have to look no further as Liberia’s latest telecommunications service provider, K3 Telecom, offers the internet at nearly ten times the speed for a fraction of the prevailing monthly cost.
K3 Telecom is a Swiss-based, global provider of a patented technology known as Triple Play, which delivers a trifecta of incredibly high-speed internet, Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) telephony and quality television content, all on the same line. Essentially, browsing, phone calls and television are all provided simultaneously over the internet.
K3 Liberia is the company’s first installment on the continent of Africa. The only other place the company’s services can be found is in Madagascar.
Ernest Boakai, Group Chief Executive Officer of K3 Telecom Liberia incorporated said: “our technology arrives to solve the many challenges being faced by Liberia in terms of last mile fiber delivery. It allows Liberia to tap into and complete the massive fiber optic infrastructure available on its shores.”
From one point, “our technology can transmit up to 50 km radius and connect up to 15,000 end users with a superior speed up to 300Mbps, with more than 70 Classic and High definition TV programs as well IP Telephony.
The company claims that it is not here to compete with the local GSM providers, as K3 itself is not into mobile telecommunications. True, the services that K3 offers are known as “fixed”, since they can only be accessed within a certain area, such as a home or a place of business. There are no mobile phones or SIM cards. K3 offers desk phones only and can either provide handsets or allow subscribers to procure their own unique handsets.
“With our technology the end users can get supersonic internet speed, Digital TV, IP telephony, Free Wi-Fi home connectivity, Apple TV and Netflix possibility, best international call rates, not mobile, not satellite, but fixed and stable,” he said.
Some of the potential subscribers within K3’s immediate target market are institutions that need an affordable package to help them add value for the greater good, so to speak. These include hospitals planning to invest in distance learning for staff, K-12 schools and even universities, as well as government, where applicable. But the prices being offered will no doubt lure a tremendous amount of corporate subscribers over.
Mr. Boakai explained that K3 Telecom will also afford students the opportunity to study online and do research without the internet being a barrier. Moreover, “We are fiber in the air and will change lives, raise employment and revenue for the government,” Boakai added.
He added that, investment wise, the company has spent approximately US$5 million so far and as they progress they intend to invest more capital. Located at the corner of Broad and Lynch streets, the well-branded K3 office stands out in a purple container structure just opposite Libtelco on the front and just adjacent the Sports Commission.
The group CEO said with the Triple Play packages (Supersonic internet, digital TV, IP telephony) customers can pay a minimum of US$88 monthly.