Industry Updates

'SAMENA Daily' - News

Intelsat and AMN help to connect rural Madagascar

Among satellite operator Intelsat’s announcements for MWC 2024 is news of a communications service in Madagascar running in 65 communities, providing first-time connectivity to about 100,000 people.

Africa Mobile Network (AMN), which builds, owns, operates and maintains mobile network infrastructure, and Intelsat, which operates one of the world’s largest and most advanced satellite fleet and connectivity infrastructures, are working to connect 500 sites in Madagascar in the hope of providing first-time phone broadband services to people who live and work across the country.

Some 60% of the population lives in rural areas. To reach Vilanandro on the Northwest coast, a city of 1800 inhabitants, took the AMN team over 15 days. Equipment was deployed by using carts pulled by livestock and sometimes canoes to carry terminals and equipment to the final destination. All this would not have been possible without the help of village volunteers, who helped carry equipment on foot to reach the final site location.

Since the connectivity has been set up, a local farmer who previously had to wait for postal orders can now check everything online, while the school now has access to a broader range of courses available online.

AMN specialises in rural deployment. A combination of Intelsat’s satellite backhaul and AMN’s unique site design is used to connect the rural communities to telephone services. The ubiquity of satellite and solar power solutions means that no location is too remote.

To date, 65 sites are up and running. The goal is to connect 120 sites by the end of March 2024. At that point, 200,000 people will have access to telecommunication services where no coverage previously had been available from any network operator.