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NuRAN, MTN ink NaaS agreement in Africa

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Canadian telecoms infrastructure provider NuRAN Wireless and pan-African telecoms operator MTN Group have signed a five-year network-as-a-service (NaaS) agreement for the deployment of 250 sites on the African continent.

The agreement comes two years after the two companies signed a Group Framework Agreement (GFA) for the deployment of rural sites under the NaaS business model in the Middle East and Africa.

This is NuRAN's fifth agreement signed with MTN, totaling 2,150 sites in five different countries.

In a statement, NuRAN said that, assuming all 250 sites are completed, this latest agreement will represent an estimated US$27 million in revenues over the course of five years.

The company added that, according to the GFA, the NaaS deal's five-year term can be extended or renewed for an additional five years subject to agreement.

"The estimated gross revenues are based on Geo-Marketing analysis of the potential revenue that an average site can generate from the Country data (Average Revenue per User and rural penetration rate) provided by the Mobile Network Operator," NuRAN continued.

NuRAN and MTN have signed five agreements, totaling 2,150 sites in five different countries.   (Source: MTN Group)
NuRAN and MTN have signed five agreements, totaling 2,150 sites in five different countries.
(Source: MTN Group)

The projects will support 2G and 3G with a variety of site categories to cover different population densities and coverage areas.

"Recognizing the untapped potential of the rural market, this 250-site contract signifies our dedication to empowering the rural populations in Africa. With the addition of these 250 sites, NuRAN now has a total of 4,892 sites under contract, and we are rapidly progressing towards our goal of reaching 10,000 sites within the next five years," explained NuRAN CEO Francis Letourneau.

NuRAN's African growth story

NuRAN has been signing different deals with African telcos aimed at connecting the continent's underserved communities.

In January 2023, the infrastructure provider signed a ten-year agreement with multinational telecommunications company Orange for the deployment of up to 500 rural networking sites on Madagascar's east coast by 2025.

Under the NaaS model, the project will support 2G and 3G networks with different categories of sites to cover different population densities and coverage areas, the company's statement said at the time.

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The Southern African island is Orange's third subsidiary to sign such an agreement with NuRAN Wireless after Orange Cameroon and Orange in the Democratic Republic of Congo (known as Orange RDC).

In October 2023, NuRAN Wireless obtained a Category 1 license in Cameroon that enabled it to build and operate shared passive infrastructure for the country's electronic communications networks.

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*Top image source: Image by evening_tao on Freepik

Matshepo Sehloho, Associate Editor, Connecting Africa

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