Orange picks Vanu for Liberia’s Rural Tower Deployment

Orange Liberia has commissioned US-based mobile communications company Vanu to deploy at least 200 telecom towers in the West African country. The deployment forms part of Orange’s efforts to extend coverage in rural areas. As part of a network-as-a-service (NaaS) deal signed with Orange in November 2022, Vanu will deploy 2G, 3G and 4G telecom towers over the next two years. The deployment announcement was made by Vanu’s general manager, Jean Marius Yao, who added that the telco will also provide technology upgrades in the country. The deal is in line with Orange Group’s IDEAL program, aimed at connecting 20 million people living in underserved rural areas of Africa by deploying 5,000 new sites across the next four years. The program also involves Liberia, Burkina Faso and Cote d’Ivoire. In addition, Orange Group has signed separate deals with NuRAN Wireless and Africa Mobile Networks (AMN) in Madagascar.

Vanu’s off-grid solutions for Africa

In Africa, Vanu has deployed its off-grid solutions in Benin, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Guinea, Republic of Congo, Rwanda, South Africa, Zambia, South Sudan, Madagascar, Liberia, Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Sudan, Kenya and Mauritania.  
Vanu will deploy 2G, 3G and 4G telecom towers over the next two years in Liberia. (Source: Vanu).
Vanu will deploy 2G, 3G and 4G telecom towers over the next two years in Liberia. (Source: Vanu).
  “The priority for 2023 is really all about scaling; we’ve got deployments in a number of different areas and so we’re looking at building up what we’re doing in the countries where we have contracts and then slowly expanding that,” Vanu CEO Andrew Beard told Connecting Africa on the sidelines of Africa Tech Festival in Cape Town in 2022.

Liberia’s Internet penetration

This deal is good for Liberia and should help improve the country’s Internet penetration rates by connecting the underserved. Statistics from Datareportal show that there were 1.8 million Internet users in Liberia at the start of 2023, which is an Internet penetration rate of just 33.6%. Datareportal also recorded that Liberia was home to 4.2 million cellular mobile active connections in January 2023, equating to 78.4% of the total population. The agreement between Vanu and Orange aims to reach the 46.7% of the country’s population that lives in rural areas.   Original — Matshepo Sehloho, Associate Editor, Connecting Africa

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