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Empowering DRC Through Improved Connectivity

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Dikembe Mutombo

Did you know more than 49 million people live in remote or rural regions of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)?

In those regions, more than 32 million live in an area without a minimum of 3G. Broadband access is widely recognized as a catalyst for social and economic development and gaps in connectivity impact everyday life from education to health and job skills.

Intelsat is working to change that and always believed that  a fresh approach, fully integrated hybrid networks, new business models and creative partnerships will be essential to accelerate the buildout of a robust network infrastructure that would provide a great foundation for endless opportunities in Africa.

In June 2022, Intelsat hosted, together with its partner Ragasat, the DRC Connectivity Forum in Kinshasa.

The forum brought together key stakeholders involved in the promotion of the telecommunications sector in DRC (public and private), fostering high quality discussions around solutions for reliable connectivity to all the people in the DRC.

Speaking at the event, the Minister in charge of Posts, Telecommunications and New Information and Communication Technologies (PTNTIC), His Excellency Mr. Augustin Kibassa Maliba, emphasized the importance of providing connectivity to more people in the DRC.

Congolese-American Dikembe Mutombo, former professional basketball player and humanitarian, referred to as the “son of the Congo,” was on hand to explain how connectivity can expand opportunities for residents improving healthcare, education and quality of life of the people in the DRC.

“We cannot have a strong, independent, and successful Africa without an educated and connected population. This is how we change our future – we need African solutions to address African problems,” Mutombo said.

During the event, Intelsat cut ribbon on a teleport inauguration in Kinshasa to celebrate a state-of-the-art ground infrastructure, which is crucial to the services Intelsat provides there offering greater connectivity solutions in the DRC.

“This is a great day for Intelsat, Ragasat and DRC. Together with Ragasat, we partnered to achieve our objective by bringing new capabilities and solutions in DRC.  Through this state-of-the-art platform, we are enabling Service Providers and Mobile Operators in DRC to expand their network coverage anywhere in the country, connecting more subscribers, land areas, roadways, and IoT devices – all with minimal investment and an extremely fast time to market,” Intelsat Senior Vice President Global Sales Media & Networks, Jean-Philippe Gillet said.

“At Intelsat, we believe in a connected Africa where rural communities will gain access to healthcare, education, and financial services for an improved quality of life.”

In partnership with Ragasat, Intelsat is deploying its CellBackhaul service from Kinshasa, providing easy connectivity to hard-to-reach places. Intelsat CellBackhaul, an end-to-end managed service, is the ideal solution for Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) in DRC to expand their coverage to rural areas. It overcomes the technical and economic challenges often associated with traditional, terrestrial backhaul deployments for rural coverage.

In addition to expanding coverage, MNOs in DRC can use Intelsat CellBackhaul to ensure their subscribers stay connected anywhere they go by providing backup to existing coverage.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Nigeria Approves Microsoft Agreement, Others to Accelerate 5G Deployment

In a move to accelerate the deployment of 5G services, the Federal Government has approved Enterprise Licensing Agreement for Microsoft products and clearing up of the C-band spectrum.

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microsoft - Investorsking

In a move to accelerate the deployment of 5G services, the Federal Government has approved Enterprise Licensing Agreement for Microsoft products and clearing up of the C-band spectrum.

The approval was after Isa Pantami, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy presented three memos to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on June 29, 2022.

Femi Adeluyi, the Technical Assistant (Research and Development) to the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, disclosed in a statement issued after the approval.

The Government-wide Enterprise Licensing Agreement for Microsoft products will help reduce the cost of information technology projects, while the C-band migration is expected to aid the deployment of the 5G network.

Explaining the benefits of the agreements, Adeluyi said “The Agreement will give the government access to discounted prices and other cost benefits, as well as reduce project duplication across Federal Public Institutions (FPIs).

“It will also guarantee proper technical support for Microsoft products and services, thereby ensuring protection against cybersecurity threats, which will guarantee availability and reliability of government IT services.

“The Enterprise Licensing Agreement will provide a projected savings of a minimum of 35% of Governments current investment in Microsoft Products and Services.

“This will not only substantially reduce the cost of license procurement for FPIs, it will reduce and simplify licensing complexity, facilitate accounting and cash flow predictability and monitor utilisation and impact of Government investment.”

The statement added that the Federal Executive Council has directed all Federal Public Institutions to start taking advantage of the agreement by using Microsoft licenses and services.

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Telecommunications

Nigeria’s Data Consumption Jumps 413.79%

Data consumption in Africa’s largest economy Nigeria rose by 413.79% in the last four years, according to the latest data from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

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Broadband Penetration - Investors King

Data consumption in Africa’s largest economy Nigeria rose by 413.79% in the last four years, according to the latest data from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

In the last four years, Nigeria’s internet population grew by 41.38 million while Nigeria’s internet data usage increased to 350,165.39 terabytes in 2021, up from 68,154.12 terabytes in 2018.

During the period under review, broadband penetration rose to 40.88% or 38.12 million users in 2021 from 19.97% or 78.04 million users in January 2018.

NCC data showed GSM internet subscribers grew by 41.39 million from 100.23 million in 2018 to 141.62 million in 2021.

This, experts attributed to growing smartphone penetration and more access to data in Africa’s largest economy.

“Smartphone penetration was up by one percentage point to 33 per cent and our data customer base grew by 14.5 per cent, now representing 34.3 per cent of our total customer base,” Airtel stated in a report.

“Data usage per customer reached 2.6 GB per customer (from 1.8 GB per customer) led by an increase in smartphone penetration and expansion of our home broadband and enterprise customers.

“This helped us grow data revenue 31.2 per cent in constant currency. Growing penetration and usage of 3G and 4G data customers helped us grow data ARPU 8.2 per cent. Fourth Generation data usage more than doubled in the year, contributing 62.2 per cent of total data usage on the network in Q4’21.”

The telecommunication giant further added that “Our improved 4G network contributed to an increase in smartphone penetration, in data customers and in up-take of large data volumes, resulting in greater data consumption per customer.”

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Fund Raising

Nigerian Mobility Startup, Moove Secures $20M Financing From BII to Scale Operations in Nigeria

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Moove

Moove, a mobility fintech democratising access to vehicle ownership in Africa has secured US $20 million in a 4-year structured credit investment from British International Investment (BII), the UK government’s Development Finance Institution (DFI), formerly known as CDC Group.

Moove is democratising access to vehicle ownership by providing revenue-based vehicle financing and financial services to mobility entrepreneurs. The mobility fintech is creating sustainable employment opportunities to empower those otherwise excluded from financial services by embedding its alternative credit scoring technology onto ride-hailing, e-logistics and instant delivery platforms, and using proprietary performance and revenue analytics to underwrite vehicle loans.

Since its launch in 2020, Moove has rapidly expanded its operations within Nigeria and has entered into new African markets including Ghana, Kenya, Uganda and South Africa, as well as Europe, Middle East and Asia markets.

According to the mobility company, the collaboration between Moove and BII reflects BII’s focus on mobilising capital to build self-sufficiency and market resilience in Nigeria and improve access to inclusive economic opportunities while helping to catalyse the country’s boundless entrepreneurial ambition.

Investors King gathered that Moove was the first business to qualify for BII’s BOLD (Black Ownership and Leadership Development).

Speaking on the new funding, Ladi Delano, co-founder/ co-CEO at Moove, said, “we’re incredibly proud to welcome onboard a world-class partner such as BII, whose strategic support will play a key role in our mission to build the world’s largest integrated vehicle financing platform for mobility entrepreneurs.

“With our new funding, we’re now in an even stronger position to use our technology and productivity data in creating a more inclusive financing ecosystem, whilst also tackling the unemployment problem affecting over a third of Nigerians by generating the opportunity for more seamless and sustainable employment.”

The CEO of BII, Nick O’Donohoe commented on how BII’s new five-year strategy is driving its investment in the world’s first mobility fintech.

“Investing in the prosperity of Nigeria’s growing population requires innovative new partnerships that can leverage the country’s abundant capabilities and expertise. In Moove, BII has a partner that aligns with our commitment to back dynamic tech-enabled businesses that can help accelerate impact in Nigeria by strengthening the country’s informal transport industry,” he said.

“I am delighted that not only will BII’s investment help to create jobs and provide entrepreneurial self-starters with the means to own their vehicles, but Moove’s clear focus on gender diversity will foster inclusive economic opportunities for women, both within the company’s workforce and among its drivers,” he added.

Nigeria is the BII’s biggest investment market in Africa, with a portfolio of nearly US $570 million, through more than 100 businesses and 43 funds, which collectively support almost 45,000 jobs across the country in 2020.

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