Passionate about new technologies, computer and electronics engineer, graduated from Hautes Études Technologiques and also certified designer of connected objects. Expert in security systems and Big Data as well as Renewable Energies. He worked for large groups from 2003. First for Ivoiris (now Orange Ivory Coast) then Sonoco and Thales as a computer scientist. His last position, he occupies at Allo Telecom as IT Director, then in 2008, will be the click for entrepreneurship. For more explanations, https://cio-mag.com/ange-frederick-balma-ceo-et-fondateur-de-lifi-led/, willingly answered the questions of CIO MAG.
Can you give us a presentation of LIFI-LED? How does this "new" technology work? And what is its speed of the internet connection?
First of all, I want to thank you for this skylight that you offer me through this publication in your prestigious magazine. LIFI-LED is officially constituted since October 2014, LIFI-LED SARL is a Limited Liability Company. Our activities aim, on the one hand, to reduce the problem of the energy deficit and access to electricity for all, and on the other hand, to solve the problem of broadband Internet connectivity. The operating principle of this technological innovation is simple: it is based on the sending of data by the amplitude modulation of the light sources according to a wireless communication protocol in order to allow the transmission of data between the Internet, computers, smartphones, decoders, etc. These are the intervals that allow the transmission of coded information thirty times (30) to a hundred times (100) faster than existing channels such as WiFi is 25 to 100 Mbps. At this transmission speed is added the low power consumption of the LEDs coupled with the long duration of use thereof over time.
What is your assessment of LIFI-LED's activities since it was created?
The results of the activities of LIFI-LED today are more than satisfactory in that this innovation unknown to the African continent for years begins to gain ground. LIFI-LED today is more than thirty awards obtained so far; more than 8000 people who follow us night and day; a dozen connected villages in Africa and coverage of the 16th Francophonie Summit 2016 in Antananarivo (Madagascar); the first Shell station (Vivo Energie) connected to the LIFI; more than 30,000 people connected thanks to LIFI for the moment; subsidiaries in France, Burkina Faso, Liberia, DRC, Cameroon, Togo, Ghana, etc. in the process of opening in Africa; an expansion across Africa and thousands of villages soon connected in Africa. Being satisfied with this assessment, we are working to impact all of Africa because our deployments are continuing in Africa to reduce the digital divide and the energy deficit because to enlighten and connect Africa, it is our duty!
Which countries is your product marketed in?
Our services are now available in more than 5 countries of the sub-region namely Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Liberia, Niger and soon Cameroon, Congo, Ghana, Senegal, Madagascar and France and by 2020 we will be present on the whole continent of Africa.
Four years after its launch, what is the turnover of LIFI -LED?
Four years after its launch, what is the turnover of the company LIFI -LED? After four (04) years of existence, LIFI-LED today has a turnover of more than 200.000 € with huge projects underway internationally that will allow him to triple or even quadruple this turnover by 2020.
What is the point of using such technology?
With our solution, we solve two major problems in Africa namely the digital divide and the energy deficit. Indeed, it should be noted that in Africa more than one billion people do not have access to electricity and that only 30% of the African population has access to broadband Internet, this remains a real problem to which we want to respond. With this solution able to both illuminate and connect, wherever there is light we can send the Internet to connect all the enclosed areas of our continent. Thus, our timely innovation in a continent where the desire to achieve true emergence necessarily passes through digital innovation.
What are your prospects for 2019?
For 2019, we will finalize our fundraising with our international partners to begin the construction of our factory in free zone VITIB Sa. We have just obtained approval allowing the project to settle in the Free Zone VITIB to Grand-Bassam. We are planning the construction of a factory for the manufacture and assembly of LEDs and Lifi terminals. We plan to equip 4000 villages in Côte d'Ivoire by 2021 on a project with FENOPJERCI and ADB. We are currently finalizing the opening of our subsidiary in France and several African countries.
What are your privileged partners?
Being the only ones in a field that is not yet widespread in Africa and having won several international awards and honors, we currently benefit from several privileged partners such as Business France, the French Tech Abidjan, the CDC, the African Bank of Development, USAID, AFD and PROPARCO, the European Investment Bank, the Ministry of Digital Economy and Post, the Tony Elumelu Foundation, CGECI and many other partners.
What are the prizes awarded to your company?
Our hard work in improving the lives of the people has enabled us to win several awards and distinctions both in Africa and internationally. Prix IT FORUM DSI CIO. NTIC CGECI ACADEMY prize. Prize of the Digital Youth Foundation. French Tech Abidjan Award. Price the innovative company with high potential of VITIB. Africa 2.0 Award. 2nd prize X-Forum Africa at the Polytechnic of Paris. National Award of Excellence Best Digital Innovation of the Presidency of the Republic. SEEDSTARS WORLD Award 2015. Youth Start Up Award Microsoft & UNIDO. TONY ELUMELU Entreprenership Program 2015 Award.
Are there any relations between the Ministry of Digital Economy of Côte d'Ivoire and your company?
There is very good relationship between the Ministry of Digital Economy and LIFI-LED because for more than two (02) years, my startup has been among the first promotion of the incubator of our parent ministry namely the Youth Foundation Digital. To this end, we have benefited since then, from a particular support which allowed us to receive on the proposal of this ministry the National Award of Excellence 2017 of the best technological innovation of Cote d'Ivoire, award given by our President His Excellency Mr. Alassane Dramane Ouattara.
What is Mr Frederick Balma's challenge for Africa?
We plan to roll out our solution across Africa to make all African cities smart cities connected across the globe. We want in a few years, the next ADB statistics announce a significant decline in the rate of electrification and connectivity in Africa so that our continent can achieve this long-awaited emergence! Enlighten and connect Africa, it's our duty!