Dubai-based satellite service provider Thuraya has announced that it has signed an agreement with Bharti Airtel to provide mobile satellite products and services to customers across the Indian firm’s African footprint. Under the partnership, Thuraya will provide satellite voice and data services to subscribers in remote, rural areas in 17 countries across the continent.

The pact will enable Airtel to extend services into remote areas, where deploying and maintaining cellular networks would be challenging and expensive. Starting in May, Airtel will sell Thuraya’s products and airtime packages through its retail outlets and via its Enterprise account teams.

Thuraya CEO Samer Halawi noted: ‘Thuraya’s partnership with Airtel Africa is a very positive development in bridging the digital divide in Africa. We recognise the massive impact that access to reliable communications can have on the lives of ordinary people. Thuraya’s robust satellite network will enable Airtel Africa to provide its consumer and enterprise users with reliable, high quality voice and broadband services.’