Orange Madagascar and Infrastructure supplier AfricaMobileNetworks (AMN) Group have signed a Network-as-a-Service (NAAS) deal to build a minimum of 500 mobile network base stations in rural areas of the country. Frederic Debord, CEO of Orange Madagascar, and Michael Darcy, CEO of AMN, signed the partnership agreement via videoconference. The agreement aims to expand rural coverage and connect over one million Malagasy individuals who were previously left out of digital technologies and communication in Madagascar. AMN strives to extend mobile network Operators' coverage deep into rural Africa.
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Under the ten-year agreement, Orange will be able to expand its mobile coverage to over one million individuals in areas that were previously underserved. This extension will include 2G and 3G services, which will bring social, economic, and educational advantages, including access to financial services provided by Orange Money. The project has already commenced, and a considerable number of sites are expected to become operational before the end of 2023.
500 New Sites
AMN and Orange Madagascar plan to build a minimum of 500 technical sites in rural areas. With the addition of 500 new sites, a larger number of Malagasy individuals will be able to communicate effectively over long distances without having to travel to urban areas. Additionally, the expanded network will provide access to all the services offered by Orange, including the financial services available through Orange Money.
As part of its objective to establish itself as the primary digital service provider in Madagascar, Orange Madagascar is expediting its efforts to connect individuals in rural areas while working towards enhancing financial inclusion.
Frederic Debord, Orange Madagascar CEO, said, "the operator is continuing to invest in its network infrastructure to improve coverage in rural areas, in line with the government's programme to reduce the digital divide."
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This is the second NAAS agreement Orange Madagascar has signed. In January, Orange Madagascar signed an agreement with NuRAN Wireless, a leading rural telecommunications company, to expand its coverage in rural areas by deploying up to 500 rural networking telecommunication sites under the NaaS business model on the east coast of Madagascar.