TMCNet:  Orange and Altobridge bring first-time mobile connectivity to remote communities in Niger

[November 13, 2012]

Orange and Altobridge bring first-time mobile connectivity to remote communities in Niger

CAPE-TOWN, Nov 13, 2012 /African Press Organization via COMTEX/ -- Altobridge (http://www.altobridge.com), a technology supplier to Orange Niger, has today announced the completion of its first phase of mobile connectivity deployments in remote regions of Niger to communities previously underserved by any form of telecommunications services.


Logo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/altobridge-ltd.jpg The network rollout is entirely driven by sustainable energy sources and has already demonstrated the significant benefits of rural connectivity through the delivery of mobile health services, improved mechanisms for money transfer and significantly higher levels of trade within the newly connected communities.

So far, over 50 off-grid village communities have been connected across Niger, allowing an average of 1,200 people in each location to benefit from mobile telecoms services for the first time. In such remote areas, network connection was previously limited due to the impracticality of terrestrial backhaul, the cost of fuel transportation and the high costs of deploying traditional tower structures.

As such, connectivity to the Orange network at each location is provided via solar-powered radio base stations, each with advanced satellite backhaul optimisation technology built-in.

Marc Ricau, Country Director for Orange's Africa and the Middle East division said, "What Orange Niger has achieved shows just what can be accomplished by combining advanced communications technology with green-energy to deliver affordable mobile connectivity to some of the world's most remote communities. Mobile communications brings services and growth to these communities who previously had no other option but to travel huge distances to simply make a phone call. Using renewable, low-cost energy sources to address this issue is a key part of our corporate environmental policy".

Orange Niger chose Altobridge as a technology partner for these rural deployments. Commenting on Orange Niger's rural rollout, Mike Fitzgerald, CEO of Altobridge said, "the ability to connect remote communities and enterprises in a cost effective and sustainable manner is key to bridging the digital divide. Proving that the Altobridge lite site(TM) (http://www.altobridge.com/solutions/altobridge-lite-site%E2%84%A2/) and its positive business case holds true for rural Africa is an important milestone." Distributed by the African Press Organization on behalf of Altobridge Ltd.

About Altobridge Altobridge (http://www.altobridge.com) wireless network solutions reduce network operating costs in the delivery of mobile voice and mobile broadband services. Central to this lie a series of patented and patent-pending technologies namely; Altobridge Data-at-the-Edge(TM) (mobile data optimization in wireless networks), Local Connectivity(TM) (local voice switching) and Split Architecture(TM) (transmission and power optimization), all of which, individually and combined, drive down communications delivery costs for mobile network operators by reducing backhaul and power consumption costs.

Altobridge is headquartered in Ireland and has further bases in; USA, China, Malaysia and Indonesia covering sales, R&D, customer support and manufacturing.

Altobridge solutions are deployed and operational in over 30 countries worldwide.

Altobridge is a privately held company. Shareholders include its employees, Intel Capital, IFC and Enterprise Ireland.

About Orange France Telecom-Orange (http://www.orange.com) is one of the world's leading telecommunications operators with sales of 45.3 billion euros for 2011 and has 170,000 employees worldwide at 30 September 2012, including 105,000 employees in France. Present in 33 countries, the Group has a total customer base of 227 million customers at 30 September 2012, including 169 million mobile customers and 15 million broadband internet (ADSL, fibre) customers worldwide. Orange is one of the main European operators for mobile and broadband internet services and, under the brand Orange Business Services, is one of the world leaders in providing telecommunication services to multinational companies.

With its industrial project, "conquests 2015", Orange is simultaneously addressing its employees, customers and shareholders, as well as the society in which the company operates, through a concrete set of action plans. These commitments are expressed through a new vision of human resources for employees; through the deployment of a network infrastructure upon which the Group will build its future growth; through the Group's ambition to offer a superior customer experience thanks in particular to improved quality of service; and through the acceleration of international development.

France Telecom (NYSE:FTE) is listed on NYSE Euronext Paris (compartment A) and on the New York Stock Exchange.

For more information (on the internet and on your mobile): http://www.orange.com, http://www.orange-business.com, http://www.orange-innovation.tv or to follow us on Twitter: @presseorange.

Orange and any other Orange product or service names included in this material are trade marks of Orange Brand Services Limited, Orange France or France Telecom.

For further information, please contact: Peter Tuomey, VP Marketing, Altobridge Tel: +44 7765 665 045 Email: ptuomey@altobridge.com Tom Wright, Press Officer, France Telecom-Orange Tel: +33 1 44 44 93 93, Email: tom.wright@orange.com

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