Despite numerous initiatives, it seems that hundreds of millions of people across the African continent still have no access to mobile broadband. However, satellite capacity provider Avanti Communications and clean power provider Clear Blue Technologies are hoping to change that.
The two companies have partnered to enable mobile network operators and telco tower companies to deliver rural network coverage to areas across sub-Saharan Africa. Within the next three to five years, the partnership is expected to help deliver mobile network coverage to the estimated 400 million people that currently cannot access mobile broadband services.
Avanti says its rural network coverage solution supports 2G, 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi connectivity across Africa. As part of this joint rural deployment effort, Avanti will provide high throughput Ka-band satellite connectivity and VSAT equipment. At the same time Clear Blue will deploy its smart off-grid solar-powered solutions with remote management and control.
This partnership, say the two companies, will accelerate the rural rollout of low-cost connectivity solutions in areas where network coverage and broadband services have so far been limited or non-existent. Nor is this an untried approach: Avanti and Clear Blue say they have already successfully provided these connectivity solutions in significant deployments across Africa’s largest economies.
The promise of this market is underlined by the statistic that sub-Saharan Africa, which has a young population, has a projected population growth of 2.7 percent per year. As a result, say Avanti and Clear Blue, operators are expected to invest $52 billion in infrastructure from 2019 to 2025, much of which will be in rural deployment.