Rural connectivity boost for Mozambique

 Rural connectivity boost for Mozambique

About 27 rural districts in Mozambique are expected to benefit from a rural connectivity project launched by the government last week.

According to the Xinhua news service, the project aims to provide free internet access to most of the country’s communities in the near future. It will be implemented through the creation of what are called ‘digital squares’. The minister of transport and communications Janfar Abdulai has said that the aim is that every municipality in Mozambique will have at least one digital square over the next five years.

The project is funded by the Universal Access Service Fund (FSAU), which is affiliated to the Mozambican National Institute of Communications (INCM).

While the coverage area of each digital square was not made clear (there are so far 73 of them), the initiative is expected to provide broadband internet to local communities in the southern provinces of Maputo, Gaza and Inhambane, the central provinces of Sofala and Zambezia and the northern provinces of Nampula and Niassa.

As we noted in May, reporting on a Research & Markets analysis of the sector, mobile penetration in Mozambique remains far below the average for the region and there is considerable room for further growth in the coming years. There is also low fixed-line penetration. Therefore initiatives like this are likely to be very welcome developments – as is the recent announcement that Vodacom Mozambique is to expand its network.

Vodacom has also been involved in a rural connectivity agreement with Loon, a subsidiary of Alphabet, which takes internet connectivity to the skies in a fleet of balloons. Vodacom and Loon have signed a commercial contract to begin serving the Cabo Delgado and Niassa provinces of Mozambique.

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