In a bid to tackle the problem of lack of telecom network services in rural areas, Loofca International Limited United Kingdom has partnered with Vanu Incorporated, United States, to deploy 10,000 sites across Africa.
The duo of Loofca International Limited and Vanu Wireless Nigeria Limited (a subsidiary of the American company Vanu Incorporated specialising in providing telecom operators with access to the solar mobile network in landlocked or poorly covered areas), will provide operators with the telecom infrastructure needed to provide telecom services to the populations living in these areas.
The telecom sites built under this project will deploy Vanu’s proprietary technology, designed specifically for rural areas.
They will then be made available to first-tier operators such as MTN, Orange, Glo, Airtel , and Vodacom, for voice and data services. Loofca will leverage its presence in several countries on the continent as well as its wide reach.
At the signing, the Managing Director of Loofca International Limited, Olufemi Olukoya, described the project as a milestone in connecting millions of people in rural areas to the world.
He said, “In three to five years, we plan to roll out about 10,000 sites in Africa and about 2,000 in rural areas of Nigeria.
“For tier-1 operators, what this means is that in that period, many more Nigerians will have access to data and will be able to use telephones in rural areas to connect to all over the world.
“This is a very positive step. It is capital-intensive as we noted but we are up to the task, ready for it and the nation will be better off. Ten thousand sites across Africa will bring a serious positive impact.”
He added, “The beauty of the project is that most tier-1 operators have signed in on this.
“So, what we have done is to make our sites available for them to use. Tier-1 operators, you all know, from MTN, Orange, Glo, and Airtel, across Africa. Whoever is interested comes onboard but first and foremost, it is our sites.”
The Vice-President, Vanu Incorporated,USA, Anoj Singh, said connecting the unconnected is also part of the mandate of the Nigerian Communications Commission and with such a partnership, the telecoms regulator would get faster to its goal of connecting a certain percentage of the nation.
He said, “Connectivity is a must-have and no one should be left out, they also need access to the external world.
“We are precisely working together as a coverage services provider for Africa, where we will be extending the coverage of tier 1 operators. The signing cum partnership is for decades.”
“We decided to partner with Loofca because they have spread across countries in Africa and their wide reach. They are very much inclined to generate a sort of employment for rural communities and that can be possible by connecting these communities to the outside world.”
A Director at Loofca International, Moshood Shehu, who also spoke at the signing, said, “If you notice, when you go out of Lagos, your bar will drop to 2G or 3G on your phone and you may be unable to connect to the Internet. But these sites will be able to carry data, Internet and voice call without being affected by the latest technology. It is one of the best things that can happen across Africa.