AMN Strikes Deal with Starlink: A Leap towards Connecting the Unconnected Across Africa

July 22, 2023
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Key Takeaways:

  1. Africa Mobile Networks (AMN) has entered into a commercial agreement with Starlink, aiming to connect AMN’s mobile network base stations and reach even the most remote communities.
  2. The partnership promises to bring high-speed, low-latency broadband services, making strides towards a fully connected world.
  3. AMN’s Radio Access Network (RAN) technology will deliver 2G, 3G, and eventually 4G services from single radio nodes installed on cost-effective base stations.
  4. The collaboration presents a significant milestone in Africa, marking the first cellular network to utilize Starlink for backhaul.

A Future of Full Connectivity: The AMN-Starlink Collaboration

Africa Mobile Networks (AMN) has announced a transformative partnership with Starlink, SpaceX’s satellite constellation project. The collaboration aims to utilize Starlink’s low-Earth-orbit satellites to connect AMN’s mobile network base stations, bringing high-speed, low-latency broadband services to the remotest corners of the world.

AMN has long championed the vision of a fully connected world, advocating for every community, regardless of size, to have access to telecommunication services. These services not only promote social connection but also provide vital educational and economic benefits. AMN’s significant progress towards this vision has resulted in telecommunication services reaching over 10 million people in nearly 4,000 communities across 14 sub-Saharan countries.

The technology driving this achievement is AMN’s own Radio Access Network (RAN). This system allows for 2G (GSM), 3G (HSPA+), and 4G (LTE) services to be delivered from a single radio node installed on cost-effective base stations.

Bringing 3G and 4G to Rural Communities

The announcement marks a leap forward in AMN’s mission, enabling the company to offer rural communities 3G and 4G services with a high quality of service. The integration of Starlink’s low-latency, high-speed backhaul with AMN’s adaptable ARN will facilitate the delivery of 3G, 4G, and future 5G services to remote communities.

AMN’s CEO, Mike Darcy, expressed his enthusiasm for the partnership: “We are already moving quickly in Nigeria – where we have more than 1,000 base stations in service today – to connect more unconnected communities, and we see a huge appetite for data services in many of these locations. By working with Starlink, we can support significant growth both in terms of site count and the services we are offering.”

AMN’s ARN is a flexible, multi-carrier, multi-technology (2G/3G/4G) radio node. It can support up to 5,000 subscribers per node or up to 15,000 subscribers on AMN’s 20m towers with three sectors.

Expanding Reach, Enhancing Services

AMN has plans to deploy Starlink terminals at sites in Nigeria within 2023, aiming to connect 700 additional rural communities by the end of the year. The company currently operates over one thousand sites in Nigeria, projecting to reach two thousand by the end of Q2 2024.

Looking beyond Africa, AMN has also initiated service in Latin America and aims to extend its footprint to Asia by 2024.

About Africa Mobile Networks (AMN)

AMN is dedicated to its vision of a fully connected world, where no community is deprived of telecommunication services. AMN’s innovative RAN technology and cost-effective base stations have made telecommunication services accessible to over 10 million people across 14 countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

About Starlink

Starlink is a satellite constellation being constructed by SpaceX, the American aerospace manufacturer and space transportation company. Starlink aims to provide satellite internet connectivity to underserved areas of the planet.

This partnership between AMN and Starlink symbolizes a significant leap forward in the global pursuit of universal connectivity. The amalgamation of Starlink’s superior backhaul and AMN’s flexible ARN opens up a world of possibilities, bringing us one step closer to a future where everyone, irrespective of their location, has access to reliable, high-speed telecommunications services.

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