Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite firm OneWeb has signed distribution deals with Airtel and Azyan Telecom to roll out its connectivity services in Oman and across Africa.

OneWeb satellite.jpg
– OneWeb

Airtel partners with OneWeb

In Africa, the agreement will see the satellite company deliver LEO connectivity services to Airtel’s government and enterprise customers across ‘wide swathes’ of the continent.

The partnership will focus on delivering satellite communications services to enterprise and civil government customers for various use cases including for connectivity in rural areas, agriculture, hospitals, hotels, schools, and in the energy and mining sectors. OneWeb and Airtel Africa will also provide critical backhaul in unserved and underserved regions.

Ben Griffin, VP Mobility and AMEA at OneWeb, said: “At OneWeb, we believe that connection everywhere changes everything so we are excited to be working with Airtel Africa to enhance OneWeb’s connectivity solutions across the African continent. This is a strategic fit, given our shared commitment to resiliency and excellence in communications services, and the partnership represents another exciting milestone on our path to delivering global connectivity. We look forward to delivering high-performance service across Africa, even in the hardest-to-reach places.”

Luc Serviant, group enterprise director, Airtel Business at Airtel Africa, added: “Internet penetration is rising across Africa and systems are even more connected as the digital transformation is driving growth amongst organizations. Through our partnership with OneWeb, we will support SMEs, entrepreneurs, corporates and governments to do business everywhere in Africa, with low latency and highly resilient communication services. OneWeb and Airtel Africa will begin trialing service in South Africa in September, with plans to achieve full coverage in 2023 across Airtel Africa’s footprint, comprising 14 countries in East, Central and West Africa.”

Earlier this week OneWeb signed a deal with Paratus Group to establish the satellite firm's first ground station in Africa.

Azyan Telecom signs deal with OneWeb

In Oman, OneWeb has partnered with local satellite comms firm Azyan Telecom to enhance existing and future national telecom networks in the Sultanate. Azyan will use OneWeb’s global connectivity network to expand its existing connectivity in Oman.

Laith Hamad, chief executive officer, OneWeb NEOM JV said: “We are excited to be cooperating with Azyan Telecom to deliver widespread connectivity across the Sultanate of Oman and support government efforts to provide reliable connectivity for the Sultanate. Our partnership will help to bring affordable connectivity to the widest possible audience in the region, particularly given the challenging conditions that have left many without high-speed connection.”

Ahmed Saber, chief operation officer, Azyan Telecom said: “Today is a very special day for Azyan Telecom, with the signing of this partnership agreement with OneWeb, we believe that we will be able to enhance our services to different sectors in Oman through high-speed satellite connectivity. What that means is that more people will be able to access the Internet as well as many other digital services in a better, more convenient, more accessible manner wherever they may be.”

The chief technology officer at Azyan Telecommunications, Talal Bin Salim Al Hosni, said: "We are elated for the opportunity to sign this partnership, as our hope for the future is the ability to deliver high-speed communication through satellite services, it is hoped that through this we will be able to meet the many requirements of various sectors in line with Oman's digital transformation strategy.”

Wholesale-focused OneWeb, currently undergoing a merger with Eutelsat, has signed distribution agreements with more than two dozen firms globally.

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