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Paratus to distribute OneWeb’s LEO solutions across Africa

London-headquartered global communications network OneWeb has inked a distribution agreement with pan-African telecommunications company Paratus Group to deliver its Low Earth Orbit (LEO) connectivity solutions across the continent.

According to a statement released by the companies, the agreement will focus on delivering satellite communications services to Paratus customers across 37 countries in Africa, particularly in rural and remote communities.

The news follows the multi-year agreement entered into recently between OneWeb and Paratus to build a gateway in Luanda, Angola, which will be operational in the second half of 2023. This new gateway will facilitate the provision of OneWeb’s high-speed, low-latency connectivity.

CTO, Paratus Group, Rolf Mendelsohn, said: “With this agreement, we are taking another giant step in realising our plan to use Angola as a communications hub for the region. Being selected as the preferred partner to install the gateway in Angola for OneWeb reaffirms our superior capability in developing world-class telecommunications infrastructure in Africa."

Joe Paciaroni, Director of Ground Infrastructure at OneWeb, added: “When considering the size and persistence of the digital divide, and the connectivity barriers for businesses operating in rural or remote areas, the need for LEO satellite options are obvious. On a global scale, mobile internet penetration is still only 50% and many of those who remain offline reside in Africa. By installing OneWeb teleports linked to hundreds of LEOs, we can bridge that divide effectively and affordably. We have chosen to partner with Paratus Angola because the group is rooted in Africa; it totally understands and invests in meeting market demands; and because Paratus is committed to transforming African connectivity through exceptional digital infrastructure.”

OneWeb has installed its Satellite Network Portals (SNP) in Angola, South Africa, Ghana, Senegal and Mauritius, and continues to secure strategic partnerships to roll out its coverage solutions.

Paratus recently launched fibre connection to the Democratic Republic of Congo, inaugurated datacentres in Zambia and Namibia, and activated its coverage solutions in Angolan provinces.

Stephen Beynon, CCO, OneWeb, said: “Today’s agreement brings us a step closer to realising our mission of bridging the digital divide. By utilising the power of our LEO network, in addition to the scale and expertise of Paratus, I am confident that we will be able to deliver for the African customers and communities that will benefit most from our connectivity solutions.”

Schalk Erasmus, CEO, Paratus Group, commented: “The OneWeb distribution agreement is a great achievement for us and affirms our considerable capability and reach in Africa. This agreement will further enable us to deliver on our vision to transform Africa through exceptional digital infrastructure and customer service.”

Martin Cox, CCO, Paratus Group, added: “Being chosen as a OneWeb distribution partner confirms our commitment to building successful and trusted relationships. Low Earth Orbit Satellite technology is a game changer as it will offer high speed, low latency connectivity across Africa including in the under-served, remote areas.”

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