As part of efforts aimed at achieving the Federal Government’s 30% broadband penetration target in the National Broadband Plan, MainOne data centre (MDXI), has sealed a partnership agreement with British satellite operator, Avanti Communications Group Plc to host and manage the satellite operator’s in-country Gateway Earth Station (GES).
The project, which MDXI was chosen to launch in West Africa based on its capability to deliver mission-critical data centre services and provide extensive interconnection with other operators, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and the Nigerian Internet Exchange, has already delivered the commissioning of Avanti’s first GES in West Africa, hosted at MDXI’s satellite farm in Lagos.
With USD 20 million Avanti Investment already in the Nigerian Gateway kitty, the project will ensure data from the HYLAS 4 Ka-band satellite is delivered efficiently in-country and interconnected with other networks. The HYLAS 4 Ka-band satellite will deliver High Throughput Satellite (HTS) connectivity to complement the country’s existing fibre-optic networks, ensuring access is available to enable high-speed internet everywhere, even to the most remote and rural locations.
Applications that will be supported by this Avanti’s 3rd Ka-band satellite include satellite broadband services for homes and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), rural schools, large enterprises and government agencies and cellular backhaul for 2G, 3G and 4G mobile networks. Avanti already has an established track record deploying such services via existing satellites across East and Southern Africa as well across Europe and the Middle East.
Avanti’s efforts in Nigeria will also include the deployment of its Every Community Online (ECO) initiative, with built-in Wi-Fi hotpots in schools, communities and government agencies, especially in the underserved and remote parts of the country where power availability and connectivity services remain a challenge. In addition, the satellite operator will take advantage of MainOne’s extensive coverage to extend its market reach across nine countries in West Africa.
A statement from Nigeria’s MDXi noted that Avanti’s technology has been proven to deliver sustainable digital inclusion by delivering terrestrial-quality, affordable and superfast satellite broadband services. “Given the satellite’s footprint across Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa, the services provided will greatly enhance eGovernment, eLearning, eCommerce, eHealth and eBanking services in rural areas among others. The new satellite will also offer support to oil and gas companies and enable coverage to remote Onshore, Offshore and Deep Offshore locations.”
Speaking on the agreement, General Manager of MDXI, Gbenga Adegbiji noted that as a carrier-neutral data centre enabling multiple local, regional and global networks in West Africa, Avanti’s choice of MDXI was inevitable. He further explained: “Working closely with Avanti, our engineers have already implemented a bespoke colocation solution to support the largest Gateway Earth Station in the region with uninterrupted power, connectivity and security to ensure 24/7/365 operations. While ineffective distribution of available bandwidth inland continues to hinder Nigeria’s broadband targets, our partnership with Avanti provides Nigeria the opportunity to make accelerated broadband expansion possible via satellite, to overcome last-mile gaps experienced in fibre infrastructure and enable the attainment of 30% broadband penetration target in the National Broadband Plan.”
In his response, Chief Technology Officer at Avanti Communications, Dave Bestwick, explained that the project would guarantee employment opportunities in ICT, engineering and communications to indigenes, as well as enable a huge leap towards economic growth in the ICT sector in Nigeria. “We are delighted to be partnering with MainOne and MDXI, to rollout satellite broadband services across Nigeria and West Africa. Avanti’s products will greatly complement MainOne’s existing network and provide reliable broadband connectivity to places within the region without terrestrial fibre connectivity. We look forward to expanding our collaboration in serving the people of Nigeria with market-leading products.”
The agreement between the two companies is expected to enhance a deeper broadband penetration to under-served and remote parts of the country where power availability and connectivity services remain a challenge, while delivering affordable and super-fast satellite broadband services. In addition, by leveraging on MainOne’s extensive coverage, Avanti will extend its market reach across nine countries in West Africa.