Mobile network technology investment. Many African countries have good mobile network coverage in the towns and cities, but not in the rural areas – and the population coverage falls well short of the maximum that is economically viable.
This is due to limitations on the availability of affordable capital, with Operators forced to prioritise their precious capex on technology upgrades and coverage improvements in the high-population-density cities, rather than invest in expanding coverage into the rural areas. The company offers Operators across Africa a simple and compelling solution – expanded coverage, more subscribers, increased revenues, guaranteed positive margins and no capex.
The company builds and sustainably operates mobile network base stations in sub-Saharan Africa, connecting the unconnected rural population, which represents 200-300m people and is forecast to double by 2050. Many African countries have good mobile network coverage in cities but not in rural areas, because operators are unable to economically serve populations of less than 10,000 people due to high mobile tower capex and opex costs. The companies technology is optimised for rural Africa, combining low power BTS transmitters with VSAT satellite technology directing traffic onto an existing network, and using solar panels to power the systems.
The company has elite partners. Africa’s largest telecom operators, Orange and MTN, have stated that the company is their rural solution, providing live contracts in the largest target markets.
The European Investment Bank will provide 50% of the company’s total capex through debt, and Facebook has backed the company through a US$12m cash grant initially and bespoke proprietary software.
Mobile Network Technology Investment: July 2017 Update
It has been reported by the company during a visit to Cameroon by its major investor and software backer Facebook that base station traffic and revenue generated is significantly ahead of budget.
100+ sites are now connected, and the monthly revenue produced to telco Orange, and the company through the revenue-split, is greater after 45 days connected than forecast to be after 1 year.
Facebook is expanding support and remain extremely impressed by performance, commenting that the connectivity and traffic could not have been possible without the company.
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