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November 12, 2012

Rural Africa Gets Help with Mobile Costs

Rural Ghana will soon be given the opportunity to have broadband Internet and mobile phone service. 

iDirect has announced that Internet provider K-NET has developed a network that combines iDirect satellite systems with small cell stems of Altobridge to help bring services to rural areas in Ghana for the first time. 

Tigo is the mobile company that will be utilizing this system to go with their current system of 10 sites in Ghana, with hopes of expanding to three hundred more facilities in the future.

K-Net has developed a system that will use iDirect satellites and Altobridge’s 2G and #G Base Station Subsystem (BSS), and will get its power through a solar power system developed by Ameresco Solar. Of the current 10 stations being used by Tigo, there has been a 25-percent increase in usage of SMS messages and talk time. 

The new system will allow Tigo to be able to offer services to areas with a population of less than 1,500.

“Providing affordable and reliable mobile voice and data connectivity is essential to economic and social development in Africa, but reaching remote and rural communities is a challenge,” said founder, chairman and chief architect, Richard Hlormador. “Small cells provided one part of the equation, but we also needed a backhaul solution that was quick to deploy, easy to operate and allowed us to expand cost-effectively.” 

He sees this as the ideal solution; “The iDirect Evolution Platform, and specifically the X1 remote, perfectly integrates with small cell technology and provided the ideal solution for our requirements."

K-NET has gained funding from Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC), which has led to the expected additional 300 sites expected to provide coverage of the more than 20 percent of Ghana that has no such service.

By providing this additional coverage, the local government hopes to acquire more investors and the opening of new businesses in these more rural areas.

Edited by Braden Becker

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