Two recent news stories from Nigeria underline the fact that efforts are continuing in the country to expand connectivity to less-well-served areas, in these two cases through rural satcoms and urban Wi-Fi.
YahClick, the satellite broadband service offered by global operator Yahsat and its partner Hughes Network Systems, has signed a strategic partnership with core telecommunications services provider Global Communications Extension Services Limited (GCES) to provide satellite connectivity for 9mobile, one of Nigeria’s leading mobile network operators.
YahClick’s partnership with GCES will, the partners say, bring satellite connectivity to hundreds of cellular backhauling sites, delivering 9mobile with what is described as a reliable and robust means of rural connectivity across its entire Nigerian operations.
YahClick’s satellite services now reach more than 60 per cent of the population in Africa, and the agreement with GCES extends the company’s reach to more regions within Nigeria.
YahClick says that the satellite backhauling option makes it feasible to offer cellular services in areas that are prohibitively expensive to reach using traditional terrestrial means.
Meanwhile, Nigerian ISP Fiam WiFi has expanded its use of Facebook Connectivity's Express Wi-Fi platform to Ajegunle, a suburb of Lagos that is densely populated with lower-income earners. Over the next three months, Fiam Wi-Fi plans to bring Express Wi-Fi services to some of the most deprived communities in Lagos, providing, as the company puts it, 1GB of data for N200 (a little under $0.49) without validity or expiration period.
Fiam Wi-Fi is one of Nigeria’s newest telecommunications companies, providing internet via hotspots to high-density, low-income communities that, the company says, have been short-changed for internet by incumbent operators.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Fiam Wi-Fi, Akin Marinho, describes the company’s mission as “to connect 50 million more Nigerians to the internet over the next decade”.