Saturday, 14 April 2012

Which Internet Service Provider for your Cyber Café Business.


The cyber café business in Nigeria has changed a lot. About 3 or 4 years ago café business was only operated using satellite technology. This is an expensive technology. It is characterized by very limited bandwidth. And if you want very large bandwidth (speed), you may have to pay heavily for it. The returns you get may not cover your operating cost. Then, using satellite technology was like making money for the ISPs, because all the money you generate goes to pay your bandwidth fees. In order to make some money for your business, you end subscribing for a small bandwidth. The end result is that you have a very slow internet connection and your customers will be the worse for it.

However, the field has changed considerably with the introduction of a few technologies into the market.
Firstly, bandwidth capacities in Nigeria have increased. With the introduction of MAIN ONE CABLE and GLO-1. Main One cable is a submarine communications cable that runs from Portugal to South Africa with landings along the route in some west African countries.  The GLO-1 (Gloalcom 1 ) is also a submarine communications cable that runs between  Nigeria to UK. So the international capacity for internet connectivity has increased greatly in Nigeria. 

For me, I started with a satellite connection. Subscribing to a company called Iway, which operates out of Kenya but has office in Nigeria. Their service was very reliable but expensive. While I stayed with them, I was virtually making money for them. I  barely had anything left after paying my subscription fees. There were other satellite options from other companies, but I did not want to switch. I felt I could make it in spite of the subscription fees.

Then came the MTN HYCONNECT Wimax service. This came just at the right time for me. And I have been using it ever since. Unfortunately, it is not available everywhere. It is only in some cities in Nigeria. The MTN service is relative cheaper than satellite services. It is also faster, bringing fast internet connectivity to cafes and homes. The satellite services can never compete with the MTN  Hyconnect service. Just to have an idea of what I mean.
I pay N63,750.00 for a monthly subscription on MTN for a 1Mbits (125Kb/s ) bandwidth. But for Iway, I was paying N127,500.00 for a monthly subscription on a 18Kb/s bandwidth.
So if you have access to MTN HYCONNECT Wimax service grab hold of a subscription. There are lower subscriptions you can use depending on the number of computers in your cyber café and how fast you want browsing to be in your cyber café. Never use satellite unless it is the only option available.

There is a third option for subscribing to an ISP for your cyber café business. That is, using a USB modem.  This makes use of the GSM NETWORK USB MODEM. The modem is configured to work with a server that has been configured with MIKROTIK OS. The use of this system was wide spread before the coming of MTNHyconnect. I never actually used it myself. This was because of my experience with the speed of the internet service provided through these modems. I have used the MTN, ETISALAT GSM internet service and discovered that the speed drops off considerable at peak periods. A friend of mine who owns a cyber café, used this form of connectivity and vouched for it, even though he once complained that the modem gets hot and stops browsing.
Anyway, I can only recommend this to be used as a backup. So that when your main connectivity breaks down, switch to the USB modem.

A new connectivity I want to test is the ETISALAT EASY BLAZE. Their router combined with their modem to run my cyber café network.  Keep reading this blog and you will soon get all the details.

For a list of ISPs in Nigeria check out this link http://nigeriamasterweb.com/IspSites.html

3 comments:

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  2. i love ur explanation,it make alot of sense and i really appreciate it,just thinking of going into d biz and i came acros ur blog,keep it up.

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