Nuran Wireless and Orange to strengthen DR Congo’s rural connectivity

Nuran OrangeNuRAN Wireless Inc has entered into a network-as-a-service (NAAS) contract with Orange DRC SA  in the Democratic Republic Of the Congo (DRC)

Under the terms of the agreement with Orange DRC, NuRAN is partnering with Orange DRC and various multi-network operators, or MNOs for the purpose of constructing and operating 2,000 new NuRAN towers over the next 40 months throughout the DRC in Central Africa to meet pent-up demand, with a particular focus for rural communities with populations around 5,000. The towers fall into one of four categories depending on population density and coverage requirements. NuRAN’s technology, which won the GSMA Connected Society Innovation Fund for Rural Connectivity in 2020, uses a carrier-grade GSM base station powered by solar as part of a small-footprint remote tower.

“We are extremely pleased to enter into this agreement with Orange DRC. This contract is in line with our strategy to expand the NAAS business model across Africa. This is our second significant contract in Africa and with Orange after having already previously announced our agreement with Orange Cameroon SA. This contract further demonstrates the large demand from Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) for this type service and revenue model as well as improving the partnership with Orange. Based on our estimates the 2,000 towers will provide 2.75G connectivity to up to 10 million people,” stated Francis Letourneau, CEO of NuRAN.

The agreement with Orange DRC is subject to a number of terms and conditions including the following:

The contract has a minimum term of 10 years for each site built by the Company. Each site consists of the installation by NuRAN and its partners of its Networking equipment as well as antennas, cabling, solar power systems, towers and related installation services.

The agreement features a revenue sharing structure including a minimum guaranteed monthly fee per site built for the first five years of the agreement which is intended to partially cover the operating and financing costs.

NuRAN agreed to the delivery of 2,000 turnkey sites over the initial 40 month term of the agreement. NuRAN has established four different site categories to support multiple population densities and coverage patterns.

Orange DRC has agreed that during the term of the agreement to, among other things, provide all the necessary support services including: providing usage rights to the frequencies assigned to it and over which NuRAN’s equipment may be broadcast; assist in obtaining the necessary site construction permits; make available sufficient floor space, power and cooling for NuRAN’s gateway equipment at no expense to NuRAN; assist NuRAN with the interconnection work and integration and inter-working testing of the Gateway equipment; configure the Core Network and related equipment (hardware and software) for optimal Site performance; and assist with testing of equipment.

The agreement is subject to obtaining the necessary project financing for the buildout and operation of the sites. In connection with the project financing for the agreement with Orange DRC, the Company has executed a term sheet with a local DRC Bank for the proposed capital expenditures for the site buildout. The financing is subject to the entry into definitive agreements for the project financing with the lender.

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