Parallel Wireless was contracted to supply open RAN kit for thousands of new mobile sites in Nigeria, as part of a government-funded programme to fill rural coverage gaps and boost digital inclusion.

The equipment will be used by network-as-a-service provider HotSpot Network to fulfil an agreement it signed with MTN Group’s local unit to deploy more than 2,000 new mobile sites, 500 of which are to be installed in 2021.

Morenikeji Aniye, founder and CEO of HotSpot Network, stated open RAN equipment “will enable faster time to market” for the project.

A Parallel Wireless representative told Mobile World Live the sites will count toward a target set by MTN Group in 2019 to deploy a total of 5,000 open RAN sites across its operations.

The representative added 25 per cent of the Nigeria RAN project costs will be covered by a subsidy from the country’s Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF), which will also promote mobile services to consumers and businesses once the sites are live.

USPF was established in 2003 to help deliver universal access to information and communications technologies in rural and under-served areas of Nigeria.