Gabon to boost rural coverage with WTL via shared infrastructure

Gabon to boost rural coverage with WTL via shared infrastructure

A new shared infrastructure project aimed at promoting rural mobile voice and data coverage in Gabon has been granted Universal Service Fund capital.

World Telecom Labs’ Vivada has been chosen to provide the shared, multi-operator RAN and service platform that will be used to connect unconnected villages, potentially bringing mobile connectivity to up to 15% of the population.

Authorities in Gabon have launched the initiative to bring mobile voice and data connectivity to nearly 3000 remote villages that are currently beyond the reach of existing communications networks. In total, the villages represent 15% of the population, which means a significant number of people could soon be enjoying the benefits of mobile coverage, with the social and economic boost that this can provide.

The initiative is particularly interesting as an example of Infrastructure as a Service, or IaaS. In this case, a technique and architecture known as National Roaming allows common infrastructure to be shared by different providers, bringing down the costs of service deployment and delivering not only coverage but also an open market to residents of the newly covered areas.

At the heart of the deployment is WTL’s Vivada, which provides both the RAN connectivity as well as the complete service and back-office infrastructure. Because it’s a fully multi-tenant solution, each service provider can access the network and its functionality equitably, as well as integrate the resulting services seamlessly into their national portfolio.

A Proof of Concept (PoC) for the project has already been successfully completed and it is anticipated that it will move to the first phase of full deployment within the next quarter.

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