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Gateway Communications improves mobile connectivity between Mauritius and dependent islands

Johannesburg, July 31st, 2012 -  Gateway Communications, the leading supplier of pan-African telecommunications services, has provided a flexible and robust connectivity solution to Emtel Ltd, for the remote islands of Agalega and Rodrigues, which form part of the Republic of Mauritius. The Rodrigues Island lies 550km northeast of Mauritius with a population of about 35,000. The island contributes to the economy through a variety of sectors including tourism, fishing and agriculture. Effective mobile connectivity is needed in order to facilitate business-to-business communication and for general correspondence with the mainland.

The Agalega Island lies 1,122km north of Mauritius and has a population of less than 300 people.  This island is self-sustaining, but residents utilise mobile communication for ordering supplies, for emergency situations and to stay in touch with their friends and family across the island archipelago.

Although previously connected, the Islanders of Rodrigues and Agalega frequently experienced weak links and outages often brought on by bad weather. Emtel Ltd - a division of the Millicom International Cellular (MIC) group - approached Gateway Communications for a potential solution, which would deliver the most efficient voice and data connectivity to the residents of these islands. Having a long standing relationship with Gateway Communications, Emtel was aware of  the company’s proven track record and flexible approach to connectivity; making Gateway the best choice to connect these remote locations to the mainland.

Through the innovative use by Emtel Ltd of CellDirect - Gateway’s satellite cellular backhaul solution - the islanders now have access to reliable and effective mobile communications. CellDirect is used to connect hard to reach base stations and is the ideal solution when addressing lower traffic density areas. This solution also results in capital and operational savings for the customer.

As noted by Emtel CTO, Paul Valette, it is an exciting time for the communities on the Agalega and Rodrigues islands. “Effective and affordable connectivity will enable them to improve socio-economic conditions. Staying connected in a globalised world has never been more critical.”

“This project once again reiterates Gateway’s ability to serve remote areas in Africa,” says Mike van den Bergh, CEO of Gateway Communications. “Reliability, quality and coverage are key factors for mobile operators and internet service providers (ISPs), which made satellite the ideal communications technology for this project. Our experts understand the fundamentals of communications in Africa: it’s what we do, and with so many new uses of satellite-enabled technologies on the way, we’re confident that our improved satellite services will continue to play a vital role in pan-African connectivity for many years to come.”


About Emtel Ltd

29th May 1989 - Emtel Ltd became the first mobile telephony operation in the whole Southern Hemisphere. This major step in Mauritian telecommunications history was the fruit of the collaboration of two pioneering groups - The Currimjee Jeewanjee Group, one of the foremost groups in Mauritius, and Millicom International Cellular (MIC) S.A., based in Luxembourg. Since then, it has always been present wherever new technology is concerned. Emtel is known for its bold innovations in Telecoms arena, the latest ones being Mobile Internet, Enterprise Solutions and a state of the art 4G LTE network. Emtel is also an ISO 9001 certified company and is the only operator to be present in Mauritius, Rodrigues and Agalega.

Innovation has been one of the driving forces of Emtel and its product portfolio has constantly been evolving with changing needs in telecommunications. From the voice call marketed at launch in 1989, Emtel has now evolved to Mobile Broadband  of up to 7.2Mbps and soon to 150Mbps on its 4G/LTE network and also to Enterprise Data business, offering Mauritian companies competitive options now in terms of Internet Leased Ports, Virtual Private Networks and world class Data Centre services.

About Gateway Communications

Gateway Communications is the largest provider of carrier solutions in Africa, providing voice and data services to Africa’s leading mobile operators. With more than 60 transponders of satellite capacity over Africa it manages more connectivity over the continent than any other operator. Moreover, with 24 dedicated teleports, access to multiple landing ports, several African offices and teams of local experts, it has more on the ground support than any other operator.

Gateway Communications is recognised for setting the standards for tomorrow’s communications:

Satellite Service Provider of the Year, GSM Backhaul Operator of the Year and winner of the First Class Customer Service award, SatCom Star Awards, May 2011

Best Wholesale Service Innovation, Global Telecoms Business Innovation Awards, June 2011

Customer Service Excellence Award, AfricaCom Awards, 2011

Best African Wholesale Offering, Capacity Awards, 2011

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Contact Information:

Gateway Communications:

Tom Tudor, Marketing Director

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+44 20 7173 1734


Shannon Atherfold

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+27 11 022 6564

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