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AMN Launches Commercial Service In Benin

January 24, 2014. Cotonou.

AMN is proud to announce the launch of commercial service in Benin. At 19.16 local time on Friday 24th January at the AMN base station site in northern Benin, the commercial service was switched on and a community of some 5,000 people is now able to enjoy for the very first time voice and data communications services which are taken for granted in most of the world.

Jules Degila, Michael Darcy and Emmanuel Pobee At The Launch of Commercial
Service at the AMN Mobile Network Base Station in Northern Benin

The AMN base station utilises a solar-based electrical power system and a satellite-based backhaul communication link to make the base station completely autonomous with no reliance on any local infrastructure. The base station uses a 45-metre (150 ft) mast with a 2TRx capacity BTS and a pair of high-gain, omni-directional antennas to deliver service to a range of up to 7Km from the base station, and covering approximately 150 square Kilometres.

The Tower and the BTS with Antennas

The Solar-Based Electrical Power System and the VSAT Communication Link

The AMN base station primarily covers one main community of some 5,000 population who have to date lived without any communication services, and also without any mains electrical power or mains water/sewage. The community includes a community centre, school and also a hospital with dispensary. Now, at least, the community has reliable voice and data communications to help it's advancement. The community already has multiple distributors of SIMs and airtime credit, and facilities for charging mobile phones.

The Rural Community In a Remote Area in Northern Benin That Now Enjoys The Benefit of Mobile Network
Services For The First Time
, Showing (Clockwise From Top Left), The Centre With Market, School, Out-Lying Dwellings
and Maternity Hospital with Separate Dispensary

The base station is already carrying significant levels of communications traffic. The operator sold over 500 SIMs more than one week before the launch of the service, and the local retailers of SIMs and airtime credit in the village were doing a brisk trade on Friday and Saturday both before and after the launch. AMN generates its revenue from a revenue-share agreement with the operator.

The base station in Benin is currently processing approximately 2,000 voice-minutes of traffic each day, equating to around 50-60,000 minutes per month. We expect these levels to nearly double over the next 6-7 months through the adoption period in which new subscribers start to use the service, and also as the subscribers use the network more and more.

AMN will deploy up to 200 sites in Benin over a period of two years. In total, more than 1.5 million people will be covered and generate over 700,000 new subscribers.