MainOne partners Avanti for rural connectivity in Nigeria

11 February 2019 | James Pearce

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MainOne and Avanti Communications have struck an agreement to jointly boost broadband penetration across Nigeria by offering satellite services to enterprises in remote areas of the country.

The agreement will see West African connectivity provider MainOne leverage Avanti’s new HYLAS 4 satellite, which was launched in April 2018, to offer flexible capacity services across Nigeria.

The partnership also includes deployment of Avanti’s – a satellite communications firm operating in Europe, the Middle East and Africa – ECO Initiative, which bundles together broadband access, solar power and embedded wifi services for schools and small communities.

The purpose of the agreement is to help drive connectivity into the remote parts of Nigeria, offering services with 100% country coverage, in order to reach areas where it is often difficult to deploy fibre.

The deal extends an existing partnership between the two companies, which has seen MainOne’s data centre operation, MDXI, build a satellite gateway for Avanti in Nigeria. Avanti has invested $20 million in the earth station, which is hosted at MDXI’s satellite farm in Lagos and was announced in March 2018.

Libby Barr, chief operating officer at Avanti, said “We are delighted to be partnering with MainOne and look forward to building a strong relationship to enable rollout of satellite broadband services across West Africa. Avanti’s products will greatly complement MainOne’s existing fibre-based networks by providing reliable connectivity services to its enterprise customers beyond its immediate fibre reach. We look forward to expanding our collaboration in serving the people of Nigeria and Africa with life-changing services.”

The companies made this announcement on Friday at Nerds Unite, an annual IT conference hosted by MainOne (pictured). It comes as the African operator is looking to extend its subsea cable system 0 the MainOne Cable System – into West Africa’s francophone region by launching two additional branches into Senegal and Cote D’Ivoire. The 7,000km cable system runs from Portugal to Nigeria.

Funke Opeke, CEO at MainOne, said: “Our partnership with Avanti provides Nigeria the opportunity to accelerate expansion of broadband internet via satellite, to bridge the digital gap and improve digital transformation for more Nigerians. Such services are most critical for the Oil and Gas sector, and for the delivery of social and educational services into rural areas of the country. Beyond connecting institutions, Avanti’s ECO solution also addresses the needs of their immediate communities and will accelerate getting more of our rural communities online.”