Vodacom expands Loon reach to Mozambique - Mobile World Live

Vodacom expands Loon reach to Mozambique

13 MAY 2020

Loon signed its second commercial deal in Africa, forging a partnership with Vodacom Group to deploy 4G connectivity in rural areas of Mozambique.

In a blog post, Loon CEO Alastair Westgarth said connectivity balloons will cover the provinces of Cabo Delgado and Niassa, “regions that have proven hard to cover in the past due to their vast and logistically-challenging geographies”.

Loon will install ground infrastructure and commence test flights to analyse wind patterns in the coming months, but a commercial launch date was not detailed.

Westgarth said balloons being deployed in Kenya as part of Loon’s first commercial agreement could be shared with the Vodacom contract, increasing “utilisation rates”.

Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub said the partnership was a “perfect example” of technology innovation being used to “bridge the digital divide”.

He added the operator looked forward to “forging similar partnerships and projects across the continent”, with connectivity “even more pertinent in the face of the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic”, noting the Mozambique deal would deliver better access to “healthcare information”.

Loon last week agreed a global connectivity deal with AT&T which it noted would boost provision of disaster recovery services. The Alphabet subsidiary also recently expanded its fleet in Kenya.

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Manny Pham

Manny joined Mobile World Live in September 2019 as a reporter based in London. He has previous experience in telecoms having worked for B2B publication Mobile News for three years where he climbed up to the position of Features Editor....

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