Airtel International and Thuraya Telecommunications Company on Monday entered into an agreement to provide Airtel’s African customers with mobile satellite products and services in 17 countries.
The Chief Executive Officer, Airtel Africa, Mr. Christian De Faria, said this in a statement in Lagos.
He noted that providing reliable connectivity in many remote parts of Africa could be challenging.
De Faria said that extending mobile networks into remote or rural areas presented both geographical obstacles and business challenges for connecting people in Africa.
He said Thuraya’s satellite network would bridge the digital divide by providing an immediate and cost-effective way for Airtel to extend its coverage, while generating revenue and providing connectivity.
“This partnership enables us to further extend our coverage and services for businesses and general consumers who live or work in very remote areas.
“Thuraya’s satellite services will be combined with the reliable, high-quality voice calls and broadband access that our customers are accustomed to experiencing in our urban centres,’’ he said.
The CEO said that the partnership would provide Airtel customers voice and broadband connectivity via Thuraya’s satellite network across the continent’s most remote areas.
He said that from May, Airtel would sell Thuraya’s products and airtime packages at their retail outlets and through their enterprise account team.
De Faria said that the mobile satellite service would address the diverse voice and data communication needs of Airtel enterprise users across the mining, energy, media, government and humanitarian sectors.
The Chief Executive Officer of Thuraya, Mr Samer Halawi, said that the partnership was a very positive development in bridging the digital divide in Africa.
Halawi said that Thuraya understood the massive impact that access to reliable communications could have in the lives of ordinary people.
He said that the company was well-positioned to support customer-centric mobile operators like Airtel Africa that were looking to extend their network and services with satellite-based solutions.