13 June 2022
Avanti Communications and Free in Senegal signed a five-year partnership agreement under which the latter will build and host a new satellite gateway in Senegal for Avanti’s HYLAS 4 Ka-band satellite.
The new gateway will extend the coverage of Avanti’s latest satellite, HYLAS 4, to Senegal and the neighbouring west African countries of Guinea, Sierra Leone, Guinea Bissau, Gambia, and Liberia, as well as completing Avanti’s coverage of Côte d’Ivoire. The expanded coverage will significantly increase access to high-speed satellite internet for the countries’ schools, hospitals and communities.
Furthermore, the new gateway will also provide satellite backhaul services to Avanti’s carrier customers, extending their reach to rural areas and other semi-urban locations where terrestrial networks are currently limited or unreliable.
Free Senegal will build and operate the new gateway from its Tier III data centre facility in Diamniadio outside the capital Dakar, adding Avanti as a strategic customer to its growing enterprise business in Senegal and supporting the Government’s Digital Senegal 2025 strategy.
“This strategic partnership with Free in Senegal demonstrates our commitment to working with local partners in Africa such as Free in order to increase the coverage of our satellite fleet - benefitting countries and territories that are often overlooked when it comes to high-speed broadband,” said Kyle Whitehill, chief executive officer (CEO), Avanti Communications. “We are looking forward to working with the Free team to make this vision a reality.”
Mamadou Mbengue, CEO, Free in Senegal, added: “We are delighted that Avanti has chosen Free to be their gateway partner in Senegal, recognising the capabilities offered by the Free team and our data centre facility in Diamniadio. This agreement between Avanti and Free to build the gateway and provide Ka-band satellite coverage across Senegal and the neighbouring countries is a major milestone in our digital transformation agenda.”
The partnership is due to make a big impact on education, enabling e-learning services for schools across the region. Pending approval from the Senegalese authorities, the gateway is planned to go live in December 2022.