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Pan-African telecoms group Liquid Telecom today announced that it is providing its VSAT connectivity services to mbora, a pioneering new social enterprise in Malawi which provides people in rural areas with free connectivity at a community hub.

Malawi’s internet penetration is low at 14.2% with rural areas outside the main towns and cities either not covered, unreliably covered, or unaffordably covered by any kind of network. 

The first community hub is now live in a lake shore village near Mangochi, Malawi, a four-hour drive from the country’s capital, Lilongwe. Mbora is aiming to build 150 hubs encircling Lake Malawi and to expand across the region. Mbora chose Liquid Telecom after evaluating all its connectivity options from both domestic and pan-African operators.

Liquid Telecom is providing mbora with its own VSAT network. Each mbora hub is serviced with broadband speeds of up to 36mbps, which in turn enables mbora and its content partners to digitally deliver their services to mbora users over a free internet connection. Liquid Telecom is using the latest High-Throughput-Satellite of its long-term partner Intelsat and providing an uncapped data service to mbora.

Adrian Raisbeck, Founder and CEO of mbora, said Malawi is one of the world’s least developed and poorest countries and yet it is blessed with great soils and the third largest body of water on the African continent. Rural communities in Malawi should be living wealthy and resilient livelihoods.

Fast and cost-effective connectivity is vital to mbora’s ability to provide Malawi with an alternative effective approach to rural development. We need to work with an operator that we trust, and Liquid Telecom’s reputation is second to none.

The uncapped service is fantastic and will enable us to quickly expand our service across the region.”

Mbora has also built a super app to help increase digital inclusion by providing access to useful and relevant information and services online including finance and healthcare.  Content and service organisations can use the app as a marketplace to reach important food-producing farming and fishing communities in rural Sub-Saharan Africa.

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