ESA Contributes €10.7 Million to Avanti ECO Across Africa
Avanti Communications Group plc (“Avanti”), a leading provider of satellite data communications services in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), announces a new contract with the European Space Agency (“ESA”) through its ARTES Partner programme. It will provide affordable satellite broadband connectivity to 1,400 community sites across Sub-Saharan Africa over the next two years using Avanti’s new ECO Wi-Fi hotspot initiative, launched today.
ESA will contribute up to €10.7 million in funding that Avanti will use to bring rural communities across Africa online. To deploy the advanced new technology platform, Avanti will partner with Newtec and a group of leading Service Providers, combining satellite, Wi-Fi and solar power, to deliver the programme in the market.
Memorandums of Understanding on ECO have been signed with the South African Ministry of Communications and Sentech in South Africa; Wananchi, Intersat and Imarasat in Kenya; and the Tanzania Education Authority. Many other governments, Service Providers and other Avanti partners have expressed support for the ECO initiative. This includes World Bank International Finance Corporation, Telkom Kenya, Internet Solutions, Safaricom, iWayAfrica, iSat Africa, MainOne, Nynex, TelOne, Quantis, Newtec and Discovery Learning Alliance.
Solar-powered ECO Wi-Fi hotspots will be hosted at schools that will benefit from subsidised Internet access. Consumers and local businesses, within range of the ECO Wi-Fi hotspot, will use the ECO mobile payment app (newly developed by Avanti) to make micropayments for broadband credits which convert to data usage.
Magali Vaissiere, Director of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications at the European Space Agency (ESA), said: “As part of the ARTES Partner programme, we are excited to support and contribute to the ECO programme as it launches today. By doing so, ESA is investing in European ground infrastructure and fostering the delivery of satellite services in global markets. We look forward to working with Avanti in Sub-Saharan Africa to support better education outcomes and to unlock new business opportunities for both local Service Providers and European industry technology providers. Additionally we are happy to provide a connectivity platform that will ensure many long term NGO and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives are sustainable.”
David Williams, Chief Executive Officer of Avanti, said:“Through product innovation and a partner strategy we have found an economically viable way to deliver broadband to low income customers in rural Africa. Working with governments and local service providers, and with support from ESA, this first project is a significant step towards creating something that will address a need across the entire continent.”
For further information please contact:
ESA Media Relations Office, +33 1 53 69 72 99, email@example.com Montfort: Nick Miles / James Olley, +44 (0)203 770 7909 Redleaf: Hannah Nicolas, +44 (0)207 382 4734
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Notes to Editors
About Avanti Communications
Avanti connects people wherever they are – in their homes, businesses, in government and on mobiles. Through the HYLAS satellite fleet and more than 180 partners in 118 countries, the network provides ubiquitous internet service to a quarter of the world’s population. Avanti delivers the level of quality and flexibility that the most demanding telecoms customers in the world seek. Avanti is the first mover in high throughput satellite data communications in EMEA. It has rights to orbital slots and Ka-band spectrum in perpetuity that covers an end market of over 1.7bn people. The Group has invested $1.2bn in a network that incorporates satellites, ground stations, datacentres and a fibre ring.
Avanti has a unique Cloud based customer interface that is protected by patented technology.
Avanti Communications is listed in London on AIM (AVN:LSE).
ECO Wi-Fi hotspot initiative
ECO is a new sustainable digital inclusion initiative focused on providing affordable, superfast satellite broadband to schools and their local communities across Sub-Saharan Africa. ECO is short for Every Child Online. Avanti believes that ECO can deliver digital education to every excluded child in Africa.
CSR and government customers cover the costs of the ECOPOP (Wi-Fi hotspot) and the end user consumer pays bandwidth costs.
Solar-powered ECO Wi-Fi hotspots will be hosted at schools that will benefit from subsidised Internet access. These Wi-Fi hotspots will be connected to the Internet via the HYLAS satellite fleet. Consumers and local businesses, within range of the ECO Wi-Fi hotspot, will also benefit from connectivity by using the ECO mobile app to make micropayments for broadband usage. More detail on ECO can be found at www.avantiplc.com/eco.
About the European Space Agency
The European Space Agency (ESA) provides Europe’s gateway to space.
ESA is an intergovernmental organisation, created in 1975, with the mission to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space delivers benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world.
ESA has 22 Member States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, of whom 20 are Member States of the EU.
ESA has established formal cooperation with seven other Member States of the EU. Canada takes part in some ESA programmes under a Cooperation Agreement.
By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, ESA can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country. It is working in particular with the EU on implementing the Galileo and Copernicus programmes.
ESA develops the launchers, spacecraft and ground facilities needed to keep Europe at the forefront of global space activities.
Today, it develops and launches satellites for Earth observation, navigation, telecommunications and astronomy, sends probes to the far reaches of the Solar System and cooperates in the human exploration of space. Learn more about ESA at www.esa.int