Orange Niger is utilizing capacity from satellite services provider Intelsat to expand its cellular network coverage in rural regions of Niger.
In a sign that satellite is increasingly competitive as a wireless backhaul solution for MNOs, Intelsat will provide C-band broadband capacity to Orange Niger on Intelsat 903 at 325.5º East. The companies have entered a multi-year agreement; when the Intelsat 35e satellite enters service, scheduled for 2017, Orange Niger will be able to seamlessly transition to the new satellite.
The deal also confirms that while Orange may be reviewing the long term options for its African operations, as first reported here in March this year, it is continuing to invest in network development for the long term to extend coverage.
Orange Niger plans to use its expanded network reach to offer high-quality, reliable broadband services to corporate enterprises and provide wireless services to customers within Niger.
"By partnering with Intelsat, we are now able to introduce mobile telecom services to corporations and communities in the most remote regions of the country,” said Brelotte Ba, CEO of Orange Niger. “Intelsat’s robust satellite services will support the rapid expansion of our service territory, much of which includes challenging terrain, and the satellite-based solution will allow us to add new subscribers and introduce new services in a cost-efficient manner. More importantly, it will provide much needed reliable broadband connectivity, which will have a positive economic impact on the businesses and the communities we look to serve."
Grant Marais, Intelsat’s Regional Vice President, Africa Sales commented "Interior developing regions of Africa, where access to reliable terrestrial connectivity is limited or non-existent, derive strong economic benefit from our satellite-enabled solutions." He continued "Orange Niger has experienced first-hand how satellite backhaul solutions complement its existing infrastructure and support the broadband connectivity needs of its customers. Our partnership with Orange Niger further illustrates Intelsat’s long-standing commitment to Africa and to delivering the benefits of mobile telephony and broadband connectivity via satellite."