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Rural Connectivity Report

Telecommunications infrastructure in a rural setting

With the digital economy rapidly shifting the way we access everyday services, the importance of having an online presence becomes vital in the modern economy.

Not only are business affected by this shift, but also communities in regions outside of modern terrestrial network infrastructure. This marginalisation contributes to lost revenue for telecoms companies who see the capex expenditure too costly. Smaller dispersed communities for this reason have continued to be ignored. The people living in areas outside of network infrastructure are without the always-on, immediate access to emergency services and this represents a moral hazard.

The report also draws on the challenges associated with connecting rural areas in developing countries. The proliferation of smartphones in Africa is helping to bring people into the digital economy, but the network infrastructure is far behind. Sub-Saharan Africa has the widest coverage gap in the world and the smallest portion of the population connected. This presents opportunities for Mobile Network Operators to grow subscription base, whilst helping to grow the domestic economies of those countries.Therefore, Mobile Network Operators who can innovate will be competitively ahead.

Previous capex requirements for macro cell base stations are no longer the only option for Mobile Network Operators. The emergence of innovative solutions such as small cell technology has the capability of providing end-to-end network integration for 2G, 3G, 4G and working on 5G. Also mentioned in the paper is the importance of ground network infrastructure, the opportunities and innovative projects surrounding 5G and satellite, and lastly Avanti’s proven capability in helping MNOs extend their network reach and increase their subscriber base.

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