MTN and Ericsson pen Managed Rural Coverage deal in Benin
16 October 2015 |
MTN has signed a five-year Managed Rural Coverage deal with Ericsson for under-served areas of central and northern Benin.
Ericsson’s Managed Rural Coverage solution is designed to help operators provide mobile coverage in rural areas, for a period set by service level agreements (SLAs) and key performance indicators (KPIs).
Benin has seen a rapid growth in mobile communications, but many rural areas still lack commercially viable business models and approximately 2.4 billion people do not have access to the internet.
“What matters to Benin, matters to us, and with Ericsson’s help we are now able to provide mobile coverage in areas where it previously did not exist,” said Stephen Blewett, CEO at MTN Benin.
“We’re keeping true to our promise of leading the way and welcoming everyone into the bold new digital world.”
Terms of the deal will see Ericsson provide this access via low-power radio base stations running on solar energy to avoid the high costs and emissions of diesel generators.
Parts of Benin are home to people living on less than 2 dollars a day and transmission will be delivered via satellite in another attempt to cut costs.
Managed Rural Coverage is a new solution for Ericsson and the deal with MTN is not only its first partnership in Benin, but its first in Africa as a whole.
“Ericsson’s Networked Society vision call for us to connect the unconnected because we believe that access to communication is a basic human need, and Managed Rural Coverage allows us to do just that,” said Jean-Claude Geha, CP and head of managed services at Ericsson.
“We believe people in rural parts of Benin will benefit greatly from their newfound mobile connectivity, which greatly increases access to information and services that support health, education and small businesses.”
In February 2014, Ericsson signed a managed services deal with MTN’s Nigerian operations.
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