NuRAN Wireless Inc has announced that it has received its first purchase order from iSAT Africa for an initial commercial rural deployment in what is described only as a sub-Saharan African country.
NuRAN, a supplier of mobile and broadband wireless infrastructure solutions, adds that, in addition to this initial order, it has signed a preliminary agreement with ISAT to supply a complete turnkey solution under a vendor-financed model that includes managed services.
iSAT Africa is a UAE-based company and a subsidiary of Wananchi Group Holdings, Mauritius, a fixed satellite solution and professional service provider in Africa.
ISAT Africa has a network-as-a-service (NAAS) contract signed with a mobile network operator – again unnamed – to supply and manage up to 500 sites over five years. NuRAN has been selected to provide its radio access network solution in addition to engineering services, installation, tower procurement, solar power systems and miscellaneous ancillaries.
All of this will be done under the NAAS model in a lease-to-purchase structured agreement whereby the assets will be transferred after the maturity of the term, with the exception of managed services, which will continue indefinitely.
One possible reason for the lack of detail about the MNO customer may be that this is a preliminary agreement that allows NuRAN to further its network build strategy while the terms of the definitive contract are being finalized.
That said, enabling network expansion in rural areas is an aim of many African countries and operators, and a comment from Francis Letourneau, president and CEO of NuRAN Wireless, is certainly interesting. He says: “Management is working to secure additional similar business and expand these operations to a much larger scale.”