Mobile connectivity brings m-health services to rural Niger

Remote regions of Niger that were previously underserved by any form of telecommunications services will soon have access to mobile connectivity, following the completion of the first phase of a remote network rollout.

Orange Niger and remote communications specialist Altobridge have connected over 50 off-grid village communities across Niger, allowing an average of 1,200 people in each location to benefit from mobile telecoms services for the first time.

The network rollout is entirely driven by sustainable energy sources and has already demonstrated the significant benefits of rural connectivity through the delivery of mobile health services, improved mechanisms for money transfer and significantly higher levels of trade within the newly connected communities.

In such remote areas, network connection was previously limited due to the impracticality of terrestrial backhaul, the cost of fuel transportation and the high costs of deploying traditional tower structures. As such, connectivity to the Orange network at each location is provided via solar-powered radio base stations, each with advanced satellite backhaul optimisation technology built-in.

Marc Ricau, Country Director for Orange's Africa and the Middle East division said, "Mobile communications bring services and growth to these communities who previously had no other option but to travel huge distances to simply make a phone call. Using renewable, low-cost energy sources to address this issue is a key part of our corporate environmental policy".

Commenting on Orange Niger’s rural rollout, Mike Fitzgerald, CEO of Altobridge said, “The ability to connect remote communities and enterprises in a cost effective and sustainable manner is key to bridging the digital divide.”

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