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Africa Mobile Networks partners with Starlink to bolster its tower network

Wednesday, 19 July 2023 16:44
Africa Mobile Networks partners with Starlink to bolster its tower network

(Ecofin Agency) - AMN aims to expand its portfolio of towers in Africa to 10,000 by 2025, up from approximately 2,000 currently. The company has recently started offering services in Latin America and plans to expand into Asia in 2024.

Africa Mobile Networks (AMN) is partnering with Starlink, the satellite constellation of American company SpaceX, to bolster its telecom tower network in Africa, particularly in rural areas. The agreement between the two parties was revealed last week.

"The low-latency and high-speed backhaul from Starlink combined with AMN's flexible ARN allows us to deliver 3G and 4G – and later 5G – services to remote communities anywhere in the world. We are already moving quickly in Nigeria – where we have more than 1,000 base stations in service today – to connect more unconnected communities, and we see huge appetite for data services in many of these locations. By working with Starlink, we can support significant growth both in terms of site count and the services we are offering", Mike Darcy, CEO at AMN Group, said.

This initiative aligns with Africa Mobile Networks' ambition to expand its telecom tower network in Africa, driven by the ever-increasing demand for high-speed connectivity and the acceleration of digital transformation. Approximately eight months ago, AMN secured a $20 million loan from Finnfund and BlueOrchard Finance to further extend its network in rural areas of Sub-Saharan Africa. The company also receives financial and technical support from the European Investment Bank (EIB), Gilat Satellite Networks, Intelsat, Meta, and others.

This new partnership is expected to contribute to bridging the digital divide in Africa. According to the "Mobile Economy Sub-Saharan Africa 2022" report by the Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA), Sub-Saharan Africa had 515 million unique mobile subscribers in 2021. While this number represents an increase of around 20 million subscribers compared to 2020, the penetration rate remains relatively low (only 46% of the population), especially in hard-to-reach rural areas.

Isaac K. Kassouwi



Public Management

ECOFIN AGENCY offers a selection of articles translated from AGENCE ECOFIN. Founded in 2011, Agence Ecofin is a leader in Francophone Pan-African economic news, particularly in West and Central Africa. The agency publishes daily news on nine African economic sectors: Public Management, Finance, ICT, Agribusiness, Energy, Mining, Transport & Logistics, Communication, and Training.

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