By Semir Mela, Vice President VestedWorld and Euler Bropleh, Founder and Managing Director VestedWorld

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Children using a mobile phone in a village in Rwanda with Vanu, Inc.’s base station in the background

Travel outside of any urban area in Africa and you’ll realize that the cellular coverage that is ubiquitous in cities throughout the continent quickly fades away to reveal patchy to non-existent coverage in peri-urban, semi-rural, and rural areas. While losing access to cell coverage is a frustrating experience for those that briefly travel through these regions, it’s an ever-present obstacle for over a billion people around the world who do not live in urban areas. Many countries around the world have established universal service funds to extend network coverage and access to underserved areas, but despite good intentions, these funds have not been able to achieve their objectives for a range of reasons, including the feasibility of economically building and operating a mobile network in areas with low population density and limited infrastructure. …



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