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NuRAN Wireless, Orange pen NaaS deal for DRC

NuRAN Wireless Inc. has entered into a Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) contract with Orange DRC to construct and operate 2,000 new NuRAN towers over the next 40 months, focused on rural areas.

The towers will provide 2.75G connectivity to roughly 12% of the country’s population.

According to NuRAN Orange DRC will leverage its technology, including a carrier-grade GSM base station powered by solar as part of a small-footprint (3 meters x 3 meters x 15 meters tall) remote tower.

Each of the new turnkey sites, to be installed by NuRAN, will have a minimum lifespan of ten years, and feature network infrastructure including antennas, cabling, solar power systems etc.

The deal makes provision for revenue sharing, including a minimum guaranteed monthly fee per site for the first five years of the agreement to help finance the project.

An excerpt from the agreement states: “Upon conclusion of the initial 40 month term of the agreement and once all sites are fully operational, gross revenue is expected to be over CAD$40 Million per year, with expected earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation of over 50% for the local operating company, which is a 100%-owned subsidiary of NuRAN formed for the purpose of the agreement with Orange DRC.”

NuRAN has established four different site categories to support multiple population densities and coverage patterns. Once fully operational, the network will have the capacity to connect close to 10 million people.

Orange DRC has agreed to provide all the necessary support services including usage rights to the frequencies assigned to it and over which NuRAN's equipment may be broadcast.

The services initially offered by NuRAN are based on 2.5G network services and under the agreement, Orange DRC can request a site upgrade in order to deploy internet services requiring a capacity greater than that offered by 2.5G (i.e., 3G, 3.5G and/or 4G).

Francis Letourneau, CEO of NuRAN, said the partnership is in line with NuRAN’s 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,” said Letourneau.

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