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AMN activates first base station with Starlink LEO backhaul, expanding rural connectivity in Nigeria and beyond. (Image source: AMN)

AMN has announced the activation of its inaugural base station, leveraging LEO backhaul from SpaceX's Starlink 

In 2023, AMN disclosed a commercial pact with Starlink, SpaceX's array of satellites orbiting low Earth, to link AMN's mobile network base stations with high-speed, low-latency broadband services.

By employing Starlink terminals for low-latency satellite backhaul, AMN can deliver the complete capacity of its distinctive multi-carrier radio access node (the ARN) with 3G, 4G, and 2G, accommodating the escalating demands for bandwidth and data volumes from subscribers while ensuring economic viability. The LEO backhaul also lays the groundwork for AMN to offer 5G services, anticipated before 2024 concludes.

Rural connectivity success

AMN initiated the deployment of rural base stations in Nigeria in 2018, and presently owns and manages 1600 base stations throughout the country. Yebu was the initial rural community to get connected through AMN's ubiquitous solar-powered base station. Situated roughly 80km from Abuja, Yebu's accessibility can be challenging due to road conditions. Predominantly an agricultural community, Yebu boasts a local market where farmers vend their produce.

Since the community's connection in November 2018, AMN has facilitated over nine million minutes of voice communication in Yebu, experiencing substantial growth in 2022 and 2023 subsequent to the BTS upgrade to AMN's proprietary radio node (ARN). AMN transitioned into an OEM for RAN equipment in 2020 post the acquisition of Range Networks, and currently oversees more than 1200 ARNs across Africa and Latin America. The ramifications of this strategic maneuver are evident in Yebu, with traffic volume nearly tripling in 2023 compared to 2020.

“Yebu community was left behind and blind but the coming of Africa Mobile Networks in 2018 has made us to achieve a lot of things like police division station, 24 hours solar light and steady communication all over the world. Before then there was nothing like those things listed,” remarked Salihu, representing the Yebu community.

AMN contends that all communities of considerable size should have access to telecommunication services, fostering educational, economic, and social benefits for the populace. AMN has deployed over 4000 base stations across Africa and Latin America. Installation of new sites is ongoing throughout 2024 in Nigeria, DRC, Cameroon, Madagascar, Ivory Coast, Benin, and Rwanda. At AMN, recognition is given to the necessity for any solution to bridge the digital gap to be economically sustainable while providing service quality equivalent to that in urban locales. From the development and production of its own BTS, tailored specifically for solar-powered rural sites, to offering state-of-the-art backhaul solutions, AMN is dedicated to delivering high-quality connectivity to inhabitants of rural and ultra-rural areas.

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