GiCell to invest USD700 million in rural telephony

17 Jun 2009

Nigerian operator GiCell Wireless plans to invest over USD700 million in the next three years to deploy a low cost rural telephony network across the country, according to Nigerian online news source BusinessDay. The operator’s CEO, Usman Gumi, said a CDMA network covering five states is already being rolled out: ‘We intend to cover the country within three years but we are taking off from these five states to meet the World Bank requirement having been selected as the first Universal Access Service provider in Nigeria to provide telecoms to unserved and underserved areas.’ GiCell received a subsidy of USD5 million from the World Bank for the rural telephony project and has already injected over USD50 million of its own funds into the programme. The Unified Access Service project aims to provide voice and data service to 405 communities in Adamawa, Borno, Cross River, Kwara and Oyo states through CDMA with tariffs as low as NGN4 (USD0.027). GiCell was awarded a contract to provide services to three out of the 24 total routes mapped out by the World Bank for rural telephony.



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