Review Step 2c: Characteristics & Trade-offs

Mobile Cellular Example

Box 4: Remote Africa Mobile Networks small site deployments

Africa Mobile Networks (AMN) is one example of cellular deployment in rural and remote geographies to extend service to sparsely populated communities. AMN is predominantly a connectivity-as-a-service operator (see 2.3.2 Business models) and works in partnership with MNOs such as Orange and MTN across Africa. It deploys the active and passive infrastructure needed to operate mobile networks on behalf of its MNO partners in revenue-sharing and operating expense models (whereby the operator pays AMN a fixed fee rather than a share of the revenue). It currently operates approximately 2 000 sites in Cameroon, the Republic of the Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea Bissau, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Zambia, with deployments also planned for Sudan and South Sudan in 2020. AMN provides commercial service to remote communities with settled low populations (500 to 5 000 people) and low ARPUs (USD 1.20). Typical site deployment infrastructure includes either a 9.5-m tower that is a monopole plus antenna or a 20-m lattice tower, both of which support 2G, 3G and 4G radio equipment. All sites are solar- and battery-powered, with uptimes of 99.8 per cent or more year-round, and use mainly very-small-aperture terminals for backhaul (there are a few that use microwave backhaul).

Source: Africa Mobile Networks, AMN Overview as published on LinkedIn, January 2017

Remote AMN small site deployments that typically service populations of around 1 000 people. Coverage areas range from 1.5 to 3 km for the 12-m tower, and 3.5 to 7 km for the 20-m tower, depending on terrain.