More than 100 solar-powered rural telecommunications base stations are to be installed across Nigeria.
It will use renewable energy to provide “last-mile mobile connectivity to underserved rural communities that lack the requisite power infrastructure for reliable telecommunications.”
The project is the culmination of a successfully conducted US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) funded feasibility study for Nigeria’s Hotspot Network Limited.
This led to the issuance of financing for the deployment of 120 solar-powered rural telecommunications base stations across 22 states in Nigeria.
Co-financing the project’s seven-year fixed-rate local currency debt issue are Nigeria’s Infrastructure Credit Guarantee Company (InfraCredit) and the Climate Finance Blending Facility, funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).
This co-financing attracted matching investments from nine Nigerian institutional investors.
Hotspot’s rural telephony project involves the deployment of telecoms voice and data networks in partnership with mobile network operators across Nigeria.
InfraCredit said HotSpot is targeting up to 500 base stations within a year with the intention to scale to up to 2,000 sites over a three to seven year period.
It intends to build, own, and operate mobile network base stations in select rural communities in Nigeria.
“Although Nigeria is experiencing rapid urbanisation, 37 million of its 204 million population live outside of coverage.
Plan to harness solar to connect millions across Nigeria
“It is estimated that Hotspot’s planned 2,000+ towers will provide coverage to about 13 million currently uncovered persons, closing the gap by a third.
“Upon completion, the project will provide mobile penetration and internet access for up to 300,000 people in communities with no existing mobile network coverage, and who need to travel minimum 1.5km for network coverage.
“The project will create up to 720 temporary and permanent jobs and avoid 8.34tCO2e of GHG emissions. Over the next 10 years, it is expected that the project will enable between nine and 16 million new mobile subscribers and six million new data users,” said InfraCredit.
Enoh T. Ebong, USTDA’s Director, said: “Today we are one step closer to bridging Nigeria’s digital divide.”