Canadian RAN provider NuRAN Wireless has applied for a network infrastructure license in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to expand its services. Its subsidiary, NuRAN Wireless DRC SARLU, currently operates as a Network as a Service (NaaS) provider, leasing individual sites to mobile network operators. The new license would allow NuRAN to offer VSAT services in addition to its existing business model.
NuRAN’s decision to file the application follows the publication of a Ministerial Decree that simplifies the obligations of license holders, specifically regarding ownership requirements. This move would not only satisfy the expectations of the European Investment Bank, one of NuRAN’s creditors, but also enable the company to further expand its operations in the DRC.
NuRAN has ambitious plans to build and operate 10,000 telecom sites across Africa. Currently, it has over 4,600 contracted telecom sites across seven African countries, including the DRC.
In February 2021, NuRAN agreed to construct and operate 2,000 telecom towers for Orange in the DRC. Additionally, the company partnered with Trans Africa Towers in December 2020 to build 500 telecom towers over a three-year period in the country.
NuRAN is currently awaiting confirmation from the DRC telecoms regulator, Agence de Regulation des Postes et Télécommunications Congolaise (ARPTC), regarding its existing licenses.
Furthermore, NuRAN has secured term sheets for additional financing for its Africa project. The financing includes a CA$40 million share subscription facility, a US$10 million structured debt instrument, and a US$800,000 credit facility from a local commercial bank in Cameroon.
Through these developments, NuRAN Wireless aims to expand its network infrastructure services and strengthen its presence in the African telecom market.