Optical fibre and satellite are driving two very different business models from Ekinops and World Mobile which could, potentially, boost African connectivity.
Ekinops, an optical transport and network access specialist, has been selected by telecom infrastructure provider Bandwidth & Cloud Services Group (BCS), a pan-African wholesale telecom infrastructure provider, for its network backbone upgrade, which, the partners say, will enhance connectivity throughout Africa.
The project involves long-distance regional optical transport networks capable of 1Tbps capacity across Africa, and urban connectivity upgrades through 44 metro ring deployments, offering 10G traffic from points of presence and towers to the network hub.
Supplying its Ekinops360 optical transport portfolio, Ekinops says it will increase BCS's backbone capacity with both single and dual fibre capabilities, aggregating low-capacity circuits to high bit rate protocols to deliver speeds ranging from 1Gbps to 1 Tbps. The solution also accommodates future demand for backbone capacity increases through the company’s FlexRate coherent channels, to extend the network's reach and capacity throughout the region.
Meanwhile, World Mobile, which aims to provide affordable connectivity to rural and remote areas worldwide via its blockchain-based mobile network, says it is expanding its network across the African continent following a series of successful pilot tests using low earth orbit (LEO) satellites in the US and UK.
Using innovative satellite and relay technology with stratospheric balloons, its first efforts are looking to provide connectivity in hard-to-reach areas within Tanzania, Kenya and Nigeria.
World Mobile pilot tested the use of Starlink’s satellite network as a backhaul option for providing internet to World Mobile’s AirNodes (or internet access points). The company says it expects further tests with other LEO satellite systems will enable services to roll out more efficiently across sub-Saharan Africa.