AMN Employs SpaceX’s Starlink Constellation to Link Rural Villages in Nigeria

Source: AMN

In a news report released by the Africa Mobile Networks Group (AMN), the group has announced that the first AMN base station is live using LEO backhaul from SpaceX’s Starlink. Utilising Starlink terminals for low-latency satellite backhaul enables the delivery of AMN’s unique multi-carrier radio access node (the ARN) with support for 3G, 4G, and 2G, accommodating the growing bandwidth and data demands from subscribers while maintaining economic viability. In addition, the integration of LEO backhaul positions AMN to launch 5G services, slated for rollout before the end of 2024.

In 2023, AMN announced a commercial agreement to use Starlink, SpaceX’s constellation of satellites in low Earth orbit, to link AMN’s mobile network base stations with high-speed, low-latency broadband services. Since 2018, AMN has been deploying rural base stations in Nigeria, managing 1,600 stations nationwide. To receive connectivity, Yebu, the inaugural rural community, relies on AMN’s solar-powered base station. Despite being approximately 80km from Abuja, reaching Yebu often takes four hours due to challenging road conditions. This agricultural community features a local market where farmers can sell their produce.

Since establishing connectivity in November 2018, AMN has handled over 9 million voice minutes in Yebu, experiencing notable growth in 2022 and 2023 after upgrading the  Base Transceiver Station (BTS) to AMN’s proprietary radio node (ARN). AMN transitioned into an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) for Radio Access Network (RAN) equipment in 2020 by acquiring Range Networks, overseeing over 1,200 ARN installations across Africa and Latin America. This strategic manoeuvre is impactful in Yebu, where the site managed nearly three times the traffic volume in 2023 compared to 2020.

“The Yebu community was without connectivity, but the establishment of Africa Mobile Networks in 2018 has enabled us to achieve many things, such as a police division station, 24-hour solar light, and steady communication worldwide. Before then, there was nothing like those things listed,” stated Salihu on behalf of the Yebu community.

AMN advocates for universal access to telecommunications in all sizable communities, recognising its potential to foster educational, economic, and social development. With over 4,000 base stations deployed across Africa and Latin America, AMN remains dedicated to expanding coverage. Throughout 2024, new installations are underway in Nigeria, DRC, Cameroon, Madagascar, Ivory Coast, Benin, and Rwanda. AMN understands that bridging the digital divide necessitates economically sustainable solutions that provide urban-quality services. From developing and manufacturing our bespoke BTS tailored for solar-powered rural sites to offering advanced backhaul solutions, we are committed to delivering high-quality connectivity to residents of rural and ultra-rural areas.