Avanti extends service to offer mobile backhaul in Africa
Satellite company Avanti Communications has launched a new managed satellite service for rural connectivity.
Avanti Extend is designed specifically for mobile network operators, intended to backhaul 2G, 3G and 4G in remote and hard-to-reach areas across sub-Saharan Africa.
COO Libby Barr (pictured), said: “Our mission is to work in partnership with the people of Africa to empower growth, protect communities and unlock opportunities for individuals, businesses, and governments by creating better connections across the continent.”
But Avanti’s move comes just months before OneWeb, the satellite company whose biggest backer is the owner of Airtel Africa, is expected to introduce a wholesale backhaul service across the continent.
Avanti, a UK based company, said its service enable wholesale customers to provide reliable cellular service to the 100 million people living in locations that would otherwise be impossible to reach using traditional terrestrial infrastructure. It has not specified in which countries the service will be offered.
The company said Avanti Extend integrates seamlessly into operators’ terrestrial networks to reduce network complexity and increase efficiency. This means, it added, “customers do not need to manage satellite configurations, hub infrastructure or terrestrial networks to deploy a successful satellite cellular backhaul topology”.
Barr said: “The launch of Avanti Extend will help to make this mission a reality. We are excited to see the new opportunities that reliable cellular service will unlock for those who would otherwise remain unconnected.”
The company said the launch of Avanti Extend follows its recent partnership with Clear Blue Technologies, a Canadian solar energy specialist, which is expected to connect more than 200 million people across sub-Saharan Africa in the next three to five years.
In February 2021 Avanti’s junior lenders injected US$30 million of new capital into the company, and its so-called super senior facility, which was due for repayment, was extended – but only to the end of January 2022.