Orange and Altobridge Bring first-time Mobile Connectivity to Remote Communities in Niger

Over 50 off-grid village communities have been connected across Niger

November 13, 2012

Over 50 off-grid village communities have been connected across Niger, allowing an average of 1,200 people in each location to benefit from mobile telecoms services for the first time

Altobridge (http://www.altobridge.com), a technology supplier to Orange Niger, has today announced the completion of its first phase of mobile connectivity deployments in remote regions of Niger to communities previously underserved by any form of telecommunications services.

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The network rollout is entirely driven by sustainable energy sources and has already demonstrated the significant benefits of rural connectivity through the delivery of mobile health services, improved mechanisms for money transfer and significantly higher levels of trade within the newly connected communities.

So far, over 50 off-grid village communities have been connected across Niger, allowing an average of 1,200 people in each location to benefit from mobile telecoms services for the first time. In such remote areas, network connection was previously limited due to the impracticality of terrestrial backhaul, the cost of fuel transportation and the high costs of deploying traditional tower structures.

As such, connectivity to the Orange network at each location is provided via solar-powered radio base stations, each with advanced satellite backhaul optimisation technology built-in.

Marc Ricau, Country Director for Orange’s Africa and the Middle East division said, “What Orange Niger has achieved shows just what can be accomplished by combining advanced communications technology with green-energy to deliver affordable mobile connectivity to some of the world’s most remote communities. Mobile communications brings services and growth to these communities who previously had no other option but to travel huge distances to simply make a phone call. Using renewable, low-cost energy sources to address this issue is a key part of our corporate environmental policy”.

Orange Niger chose Altobridge as a technology partner for these rural deployments. Commenting on Orange Niger’s rural rollout, Mike Fitzgerald, CEO of Altobridge said, “the ability to connect remote communities and enterprises in a cost effective and sustainable manner is key to bridging the digital divide. Proving that the Altobridge lite site™ (http://www.altobridge.com/solutions/altobridge-lite-site%E2%84%A2/) and its positive business case holds true for rural Africa is an important milestone.”