Canadian RAN provider NuRAN Wireless says that it has filed an application for a network infrastructure licence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to add more services to its portfolio.
NuRAN’s wholly owned subsidiary, NuRAN Wireless DRC SARLU, currently offers Network as a Service (NaaS) under which mobile network operators lease individual sites. The new infrastructure licence would allows NuRAN to expand its business model in DRC to include VSAT services.
The company said it decided to file its application with DRC telecoms regulator Agence de Regulation des Postes et Télécommunications Congolaise (ARPTC) in the wake of a Ministerial Decree published last month which simplifies the obligations of licence holders, specifically related to ownership requirements.
The new DRC licence would also satisfy the expectations of European Investment Bank (EIB), one of NuRAN’s creditors, even if the service isn’t considered essential to run its business.
NuRAN has grand plans to build and operate 10,000 telecom sites across Africa. According to Ecofin Agency, it is almost halfway there, with over 4,600 contracted telecom sites across seven countries in Africa, including the DRC, Madagascar, Cote d’Ivoire, Sudan, South Sudan, Namibia and Cameroon.
In the DRC specifically, NuRAN agreed to build and operate 2,000 telecom towers for Orange in February 2021. It also struck a deal with Trans Africa Towers in December last year to build 500 telecom towers over three years in the DRC.
NuRAN said it is still waiting for the confirmation letter from ARPTC on its current licences.
Meanwhile, NuRAN also revealed it has secured term sheets from three different groups for additional financing for its Africa project. These include a CA$40 million share subscription facility in company equity that would provide funds for general corporate and working capital purposes; a US$10 million structured debt instrument to support growth at the NuRAN Wireless (Africa) Holding level in Mauritius that includes funding for countries other than Cameroon and DRC; and a US$800,000 credit facility from a local Cameroon commercial bank to support accelerated rollout in that country.