Ericsson managed deal to offer cell coverage to rural Benin
Despite the rapid growth in mobile communications, commercially viable business models are still lacking in many rural areas, according to Jean-Claude Geha, vice president and head of managed services at Ericsson. As a result, 2.4 billion people still do not have access to the internet.
"Managed Rural Coverage is a new business model and it's great that we can now announce our first contract with the leading operator not just in Benin, but in Africa as a whole,” Geha said.
Under the terms of this contract, access will be provided via low-power consumption Ericsson radio base stations running on solar energy to avoid the high costs and emissions associated with diesel generators.
According to Geha, managed rural coverage is a cost-competitive solution that allows Ericsson operators to provide mobile coverage for a set period.
“Networked Society vision calls for us to connect the unconnected because we believe that access to communication is a basic human need, and managed rural coverage allows us to do just that," Geha said. "We believe people in rural parts of Benin will benefit greatly from their newfound mobile connectivity, which greatly increases access to information and services that support health, education and small businesses."