Vanu and AMN expand agreement to connect off-grid villages in Africa
Vanu, a provider of equipment, tools and services that allow mobile network operators to serve off-grid communities, has announced the expansion of its ongoing agreement with Africa Mobile Networks (AMN) to supply mobile network infrastructure in support of AMN’s mission to serve rural communities in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Vanu and AMN share the goal of providing mobile network operators (MNOs) with a capex-free path to a fully connected Africa and have collaborated to enable coverage for as many as 1.1 million previously unserved people.
“While mobile network operators have significantly increased coverage in recent years, off-grid markets present unique challenges that have left 1.2 billion people without coverage,” said Andrew Beard, CEO of Vanu.
“AMN and Vanu both view small-cell network architectures powered by solar energy to be the best way to extend service to the unconnected. We are privileged to be a technology supplier for AMN’s networks in Africa and we see a significant opportunity for our organisations to positively affect more communities in more countries in the months ahead.”
Currently, 1.2 billion people lack connectivity worldwide. Vanu helps close the digital divide by providing cellular mobile connectivity to off grid markets. To efficiently cover villages, Vanu uses a combination of specialised equipment, tools and services, including low TCO (total cost of ownership) cell sites, mapping tools and network planning tools (to ensure sites are built in optimal locations), as well as monitoring, optimisation and support services (to ensure maintenance resources are used efficiently).
Vanu’s equipment, tools and services enable MNOs and partners, such as AMN, to provide off-grid coverage profitably. In addition, Vanu’s unique high-resolution coverage mapping tool, VanuMaps, provide MNOs, their partners and potential investors with the high-resolution coverage and population data needed to more accurately and efficiently identify the return on investment afforded by serving previously uncovered villages.
The mission of AMN is to build mobile network base stations serving rural communities in sub-Saharan Africa which have no existing service, providing existing licensed mobile network operators with a capex-free route to add new subscribers and new revenues and with incremental costs which deliver guaranteed operating profits – and with sufficient population to deliver positive operating profits and cash flows for its shareholders.
AMN CEO Michael Darcy said: “Vanu has been a great partner for AMN. The locations we operate are very challenging and we need solutions that reflect the unique requirements of our market. Using Vanu equipment and working together with Vanu’s team, AMN has been able to create cost-effective solutions that AMN uses to increase subscribers, revenue and profit for our MNO customers.”