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Taking Mobile to Rural Africa: The Vital Role of Hybrid Satellite–Microwave Backhaul

May 13, 2011
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Next to Asia, Africa is the world’s largest continent, home to more than 900 million people living in 54 countries. It covers more than 20 percent of the total landmass on this planet. Considering its huge size and population, opportunities to expand mobile service are just as enormous especially in remote African communities.

This paper addresses that segment of the African market. Analysys Mason, a global telecommunications advisory firm, and Intelsat S.A., the leading provider of fixed satellite services, teamed up to identify and compare the most cost-effective solutions for delivering mobile service to these outlying communities. The study evaluated microwave, satellite and hybrid backhaul solutions that would optimize network expansion. The findings revealed that mobile network operators and residents in remote African villages would benefit from the use of satellite as part of a comprehensive, backhaul communications infrastructure.

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