NAMIBIA – MTN Namibia, a telecommunication company, has signed a partnership deal with listed Canadian telecommunications company NuRAN Wireless Inc for the deployment of 150 rural and suburban networking sites.
The deal appears to stem from the souring relationship between MTN Namibia and MTC over infrastructure sharing, which saw the former seeking some overseas muscle. NuRAN and MTN recently signed an agreement for the sites under the network-as-a-service model.
The parties intend to install a minimum of 150 rural and suburban networking sites in Namibia within the next 24 months, subject to the conclusion of a definitive agreement with a 10-year term within six months of signing the agreement.
The agreement is intended to provide mobile connectivity solutions through the NuRAN Revenue Share NAAS model.
“We are excited to be partnering with NuRAN in this very important project. At MTN Namibia, we believe that everyone deserves the benefit of a modern connected life, therefore our strategy is to bring connectivity to all people throughout Namibia and specifically those less connected like the rural and suburban areas of the country,” said MTN Namibia managing director Elia Tsouros.
Tsouros added that the initiative could be the beginning of a growing relationship between NuRAN and MTN Namibia.
“This is the beginning of an even greater infrastructure deployment in the country providing unprecedented communications services in Namibia. These projects will also create opportunities for local small businesses to partner with MTN as we continue to grow our footprint,” said Tsouros.
According to the report, NuRAN’s NAAS model facilitates network expansion for mobile operators by managing and controlling the build, operation, and maintenance of cellular sites along with associated capital expenditures. The sites are then monetised by providing connectivity on a paid for service basis.
“We are extremely pleased to have concluded this understanding with MTN Namibia. Adding Namibia to the NuRAN portfolio and including 4G connectivity as part of the rollout and the first contract for the Nuran XG product, is another major step towards achieving our goal of 10 000 sites,” said Francis Létourneau, NuRAN’s CEO.
Létourneau said Namibia is one of the wealthier countries in Africa, resulting in this deployment having an average revenue per user of almost double the average rural sites elsewhere on the continent.
“Bringing connectivity to the unconnected is at the heart of our business strategy and the benefits extend beyond communication including e-commerce, education and healthcare. We are very proud to be working with MTN on another important project,” said Létourneau.
Leveraging its carrier-grade mobile network infrastructure solutions as well as its extensive expertise in the building of cost-effective cellular infrastructure, NuRAN is able to set-up network operations from the ground up with an exceptional return on investment.
While deployments under the NAAS model require the company to make upfront investments, they generate significant value whereby NuRAN benefits from long-term recurring revenue with compelling returns.
NuRAN is expected to fund such deployments mostly through asset-based project financing or similar debt-oriented facilities. Such financing options and sources are being investigated with a view to carrying out deployments in the most efficient manner.