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NIGERIA: INTEL, SUBURBAN TELECOM SIGN MOU

World's largest manufacturer of chips and micro-processors, Intel signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Nigeria's Suburban Telecom Limited as part of efforts to accelerate the deployment of the Wireless Internet Network (WIN) project around the Federal Capital Territory. The project is geared towards providing affordable and reliable broadband wireless internet not only in Abuja but in other states in Nigeria.

Under the programme, which has the backing of the Federal Capital Development Authority, Intel will provide technological support for Suburban's Abuja Digital Initiative that includes the wireless internet network project known as CT Access currently being deployed in Abuja.

Already Suburban has fixed May 1, 2006 as the date for residents of Abuja and its sattelite towns to begin to enjoy wireless internet access. Both companies will also collaborate in the digital inclusion initiative being sponsored by the chip manufacturer, to provide affordable connected personal computers in Nigeria, internet access and software.

In specific terms, Intel will provide hardware solutions that address the challenges faced in the deployment of personal computers (PCs) in Nigeria such as affordability and use in the rural environment; provide curriculum based digital content using the school learning and teaching technologies; provide advise on WIMAX deployment as well as explore other opportunities to collaborate with Suburban on other digital initiatives including the Computers for All Nigerians Initiative (CANI) and rural connectivity programmes.

On its part Suburban Telecom is expected to provide broadband internet connectivity using appropriate technologies including WIMAX to homes, schools and offices in Abuja and other parts of the country.

Intel's Vice President and General Manager Customer Solutions, Mr John Davies who endorsed the MoU on behalf of his organisation disclosed that a total of 1,500 Nigerian teachers will be trained over the next five years to complement the new synergy between the partneering firms.

Suburban had late last year launched Nigeria's first city-wide wireless internet network project in Abuja under a public-private partnership initiative with the Abuja Investment and Property Development Company (AIPDC), a venture in which the Federal Capital Territory Authority has twenty per cent stake. The initiative has since grown from 20 hot spots at inception to 30 hot spots at the moment.

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