Avanti awarded contract with RSA business chamber for wide scale SME connectivity

RNS Reach

South African Government funding for Ka-band satellite broadband to over 1,000 SMEs

Avanti Communications Group plc (“Avanti” or “the Group”), a leading provider of satellite data communications services in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, has signed a new contract with South Africa’s business chamber, Foundation for African Business and Consumer Services (FABCOS)* and its new major business incubator programme, Microtelco e-ncubator™.

Delivered via funding from South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the partnership will provide high speed satellite broadband to over 1,000 small and medium sized enterprises. The programme will be deployed extensively to businesses setting up in some of the remotest parts of South Africa, reaching a number of key sectors including retail, finance and agriculture.

Delivery of resilient broadband connectivity underpins the RSA government’s business growth strategy. Research demonstrates that SMEs are the building blocks of an economy: 91%** of the entities in South Africa are SMEs, of which 52–57% contribute to the country’s GDP. FABCOS’s Microtelco e-ncubator™ programme specifically nurtures small telecommunications companies, for which connectivity is a vital part of day to day operations.

Alan Campbell, Director of ICTGLOBE Technology Encubator (Pty) Ltd and National Treasurer General at FABCOS: “Our new contract with Avanti is enabling us to deliver resilient broadband at scale to our vast membership. Access to broadband has become as important as any other utility for businesses here to succeed. Indeed, it is an integral part of our incubation offering to our members. A huge opportunity exists for connected enterprises in Africa, and we are excited for what lies ahead with this significant satellite partnership.”

David Williams, Chief Executive of Avanti  commented:“Working hand-in-hand with FABCOS, its incubator and the South African government, this contract will deliver vital connectivity and training to the hundreds of businesses for whom broadband will power growth. FABCOS is acting today to bring the countless socio-economic benefits of broadband to its members.  Avanti shows that no-one in South Africa needs to wait for tomorrow to get connected.”

For further information please contact:

Avanti: Matthew Springett, +44 (0)207 749 6703

Montfort: Nick Miles / James Olley, +44 (0)203 770 7909

Redleaf: Hannah Nicolas, +44 (0)207 382 4734

Cenkos Securities: Max Hartley (Nomad) / Julian Morse, +44 (0)207 397 8900

Notes to Editor

About Foundation for African Business and Consumer Services (FABCOS)

FABCOS promotes the development of township and rural small businesses by striving for the advancement of its members to help them secure economic empowerment, self-reliance, and respect. Through active participation in formal business and governmental initiatives, FABCOS campaigns for the continual improvement of South Africa’s socio-economic climate for the benefit of its members. As a means of developing its members to their full potential FABCOS remains committed to the pursuit of education, training, transfer of skills and sound administration.

Visit: www.fabcos.org

About Microtelco e-ncubator™

The microtelco e-ncubator™ is a business initiative that offers a variety of programmes and services designed for the new, young and expanding telecommunications business. Beginning with your orientation to the e-ncubator™, we have designed our physical environment to provide you with access to a full spectrum of skills, resources and infrastructure that will make an effective contribution to the growth of your business and the enhancement of its image.

Our mission with the training, development and incubation programme is to stimulate the establishment and growth of small businesses and to increase the number of successful companies. We provide physical business facilities, executive development programmes, technical training, product specific-training business support services, mentoring and ongoing business monitoring and evaluation.

Visit: www.microtelcoencubator.com

About Avanti Communications

Avanti connects people wherever they are – in their homes, businesses, in government and on mobiles. Through the HYLAS satellite fleet and more than 150 partners in 118 countries, the network provides ubiquitous internet service to 27 per cent of the world’s population. Avanti delivers the level of quality and flexibility that the most demanding telecoms customers in the world seek.

Avanti is the first mover in high throughput satellite data communications in EMEA. It has rights to orbital slots and Ka-band spectrum that cover an end market of over 1.5bn people. The Group has invested $1.2bn in a network that incorporates satellites, ground stations, datacentres and a fibre ring. Avanti has a unique Cloud based flexible customer interface that is protected by patented technology.

The Group has three satellites in orbit and a further two fully funded satellites under construction. Avanti Communications is listed in London on AIM (AVN:LSE).

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