Tigo closes deal with Altobridge to spread mobile network across rural Ghana

Mobile network operator Tigo has partnered with Altobridge, an Irish wireless network solutions leader, in an initiative aimed at rolling out mobile voice and broadband network coverage across Ghana’s rural areas.

The two companies have already finalised the first phase of a satellite-backhauled, solar powered solution on the Tigo Ghana mobile network.

Altobridge said in a statement that the numbers of subscribers in unconnected areas and rural village communities are high, thus prompting the need for the initiative.

The Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC), an agency of the Ghanaian Ministry of Communications, is funding the network expansion programme. Its main objective is to spearhead access to ICT, Internet connectivity and communications infrastructure to limited and unserved regions of Ghana.

“We have been around for a short time but the impact is high and it is now clear that local entrepreneurs in addition to government support can connect the world to rural areas,” said Altobridge’s chief executive Mike Fitzgerald.

He added that the mobile voice and mobile broadband penetration offer revenue increment to mobile network providers, which positively affects the socio-economic status of the country, leading to improved living standards.

K-NET’s founder and chief executive Richard Hlomador said that the partnership would offer low operating costs and would be easy to install, maintain and operate.

Ghana’stelecommunications regulatory report, released early last year, indicates that the mobile market increased by 2.3 percent. However, following the launch of Globacom, a new mobile network operator, in April this year, experts expect more competition as well as an increase in the number of customers to about 29.5 million by 2016, which would be close to 105.6 percent growth.

Other mobile service providers in the country include Airtel, Vodafone, Glo mobile and MTN, who battle it out for Ghana’smore than 27 million people.

Tigo was founded in 2004 inHonduras to replace the national brand Celtel, which had been founded in 1996. It currently operates in America, South America, Southeast Asia and Africa through GSM,CDMA andTDMA.

Across Africa, Tigo operates in Ghana, Tanzania, Rwanda, Congo Democratic Republic, Mauritius, Sierra Leone, Senegal and Chad.

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