Toronto-based telecom provider FGL Telecom has announced plans to provide wireless voice and data services in areas of rural Africa, starting with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), but specific details remain scant. Capacity Media cites FGL founder and senior manager Claude Tambu as saying that the company will team up with various agencies to roll out the network, but the official stopped short of naming any of the prospective partners, or the technologies the firm plans to use. The unspecified system will be deployed to cover unserved or under-served communities throughout the DRC, before being rolled out in other countries on the continent. The service is expected to include mobile telephony with free local calling capabilities, as well as either free or ‘very cheap’ international calls.
The project is intended to help bolster the national economies of the countries to be covered by the programme, by including more citizens in the digital economy and making conducting business easier. ‘Those trying to make it and start businesses in Africa have to interact with everyone in their supply chain in person,’ Mr Tambu explained, adding: ‘It’s like doing business over 100 years ago in the Western world. Naturally, this impediment to their development is what contributes to the poor socioeconomic standings of these rural communities and under-served villages.’