Vodacom has chosen satellite telecoms provider Intelsat to support mobile phone needs of the rural population. The signing of the contract by both companies was announced on Tuesday 1 March by Intelsat.
In DRC, the demand for connectivity has been increasing since 2020. Rural populations repeatedly express their desire to benefit from telecommunication services. To address this, Vodacom has chosen satellite telecoms provider Intelsat to extend its mobile phone services into rural DRC. The signing of the contract by both companies was announced on Tuesday 1st March by Intelsat. The project aims to connect a potential 100 million customers in a context of accelerating demand for high-speed Internet connectivity across the African continent.
A beneficial contract for Vodacom.
Through this agreement, Vodacom will use Intelsat’s managed end-to-end Ku-band Cellbackhaul service to connect to fibre or microwave backhaul networks that are not yet available or cannot be deployed. With the help of Intelsat’s Ku-band capacity and managed cellbackhaul service, Vodacom will be able to expand mobile coverage in areas where the availability of fibre or microwave backhaul networks is an issue.
Similarly, Intelsat’s Cellbackhaul connects the extended reach and resilience of Intelsat’s largest global network with network design, installation and operation services. This link will allow mobile network operators to deploy services in areas where traditional backhaul services are hardly available. In addition, Vodacom DRC plans to bring together available transport networks and hybrid energy solutions to improve and upgrade communication services in rural areas. The telecom operator sees rural areas as an opportunity to further widen the gap with its competitors and increase its revenues in long term.
This contract signed by Vodacom and Intelsat is part of the actions undertaken by the satellite operator to strengthen its revenues and emerge from the bankruptcy in which it placed itself on 13 May 2021. In January, Intelsat presented its order for two software-defined satellites to Thales Alenia Space. Investments to return to profitability as demand for connectivity increases on the continent. Vodacom DRC competes with Airtel, Orange and Africell in the country.
About the two companies in agreement.
Vodacom is an African mobile communications company providing calls, SMS, data and converged services. Based in South Africa, it is active in Congo-Kinshasa, Lesotho, Mozambique and Tanzania. It is a 64.5% owned subsidiary of Vodafone group.
Intelsat is the operator of the world’s largest integrated satellite and terrestrial network. It operates the world’s most reliable satellite communications network. Intelsat is building the future of global communications with the world’s first hybrid, multi-orbit, software-defined 5G network. This network is designed for simple, seamless and secure coverage, precisely when customers need it most.