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Africa Outlook

Burundi Backbone Systems
Africa technology
Burundi technology
Burundi infrastructure
Burundi network
network infrastructure
high speed network


A National Network

Burundi Backbone Systems is applying its technological capabilities to enrich all walks of Burundian life

Writer: Matthew Staff

Project Manager: Kane Weller

As an infrastructure operator specialising in the design, construction, technical operation and marketing of high speed networks, Burundi Backbone Systems (BBS) continues to enrich its country on a much more all-encompassing level.

While offering state-of-the-art technologies and innovative infrastructure as an initial service, the overall ramifications become a whole lot more significant when analysing the economic and facilitative repercussions of BBS’s operations.

As a partner to government institutions through the framework of the Government Communication network (COMGOV) the Company’s impetus truly emanates from the top down, and goes on to infiltrate areas of university education, banking, public services, enterprises of all kinds, and even individuals.

The Company explains on its website: “BBS is committed to the economic development and attractiveness of the territories by deploying optical fibre, particularly in the heart of business areas. Specific offers are dedicated to operators so that they can benefit local businesses with their best services.” 

BBS further compounds its national influence via its role within the wider consortium of Burundian telecommunications operators that joined forces to build a national fibre network with assistance from the World Bank. Joining the enriching association shortly after its launch in 2013, the national broadband connectivity enabler can now claim to have contributed to the country’s largest fibre-optic network.

Expanding the network

The COMGOV project (Government Communication) was formally initiated seven months after BBS’s initiation under the financing of the Government of Burundi and with the aforementioned, pivotal support of the World Bank. 

Later placed under the tutelage of SETIC it has gone on to be a flagship involvement for the Company and a landmark stage of the country’s wider infrastructural evolution. 

“The project executed by BBS consisted of connecting 46 public institutions to BBS fibre optics and providing 100Mbps of internet capacity and 440Mbps of national capacity,” the Company notes.

There are now around 70 connected institutions, and this has gone on to pave the way for the Company’s further involvement in a series of significant projects.

The BERNET project (Burundi Education and Research Network) soon followed, comprising 14 universities that were connected with an MPLS network and to the internet. 

As a fully protected network with around 10 aggregation sites, the implementation has not only sped up the educative network, but it has also facilitated advanced learning facilities through the form of e-learning.

”In its desire to contribute to the education and professional training of young Burundians, BBS is expanding this network by connecting all the universities of Burundi, both private and public,” the business adds. 

High speed guaranteed

As the partner of choice across a number of public and private domains and having worked on numerous nationally important projects over the years, inevitably BBS’s product range and service assortment has diversified extensively.

“Wherever you are, whoever you are, we have a solution to help you grow your business,” the Company affirms to this end.

On the IP transit side, BBS continues: “Our IP Transit network was built from scratch and is designed for the lowest latencies, the smallest number of jumps, reliability and stable roundtrip times. IP Transit Networks offer a multi-destination IP transit service that offers the best route selection for your destination to the internet with built-in redundancy and fault tolerance; delivering superior service to carriers, ISPs and application service providers (ASPs), content players, and other users who demand high quality performance and connectivity in the internet backbone and major eye networks.”

Built around reliability, flexibility and efficiency, the resultant IP fibre network is ready to meet the complete range of capacity needs in order to grow clients’ businesses. 

Internet traffic for each beneficiary becomes more concerted and more reliable, and is backed up by BBS’s equally prevalent transmission services.

The business continues: “Today, BBS operates and markets from its points of presence - across the entire territory of Burundi - a last-generation transmission service that addresses all telecom players seeking a very high speed guaranteed.” 

Development of the nation

Transparency and security are two final facets brought to the table as a consequence of the Company’s innovative and groundbreaking unveilings; epitomised by its NOC (Network Operations Centre).

Designed and organised to meet the characteristics of the open network operated by BBS, the NOC allows for the same maintenance, reactivity and capacity evolution synonymous with Burundi Backbone Systems.

“The NOC provides supervision and maintenance of all services offered by BBS and a dedicated hotline is available 24-seven,” the Company details.”The NOC enables BBS to provide quality assurance to its customers and ensures continuous process monitoring and improvement.” 

While seemingly an internal development, the link between BBS’s success and the success of Burundi overall has become naturally intertwined. 

The more advanced and successful BBS’s products and services become, the faster Burundi’s fibre evolution will occur. And it’s not simply a case of unveiling an improvement and letting the country run with it either.

The Company goes on to play an active role in a number of sectors, seeking more bespoke and befitting solutions for the betterment of an industry or an economic driver within the country.

With tourism for instance, BBS’s optical fibre has not only brought better internet quality but has improved the overall customer or visitor experience through enhanced flexibility.

“Today, the internet has become an ideal means of communication; whether on a national or international level, with the family or for business. Thanks to fibre optics, BBS offers its customers a broadband connection, stable and at an affordable price,” the Company explained in a recent press release.

From a security perspective, the impact is equally prominent, aiding against the growing threat of cyber crimes by formulating an offering able to combat such challenges. 

And finally, as the ultimate epitome of BBS’s influence in the years to come; education is paramount. 

“The Burundi Backbone System Company is aware of the role of new information technologies and the importance of educating youth for the development of the nation,” the Company aptly concludes.