Hotspot Network Limited invites submission of qualifications and proposal data (collectively referred to as the “Proposal”) from interested U.S. firms that are qualified on the basis of experience and capability to execute a feasibility study for the deployment of up to 2,000 mobile base stations in select rural communities in Nigeria. The Proposal submission deadline is June 11, 2021. The deadline for submitting questions is May 19, 2021. The U.S. firm selected will be paid in U.S. dollars from a $998,809 grant to Hotspot Network Limited from the U.S. Trade and Development Agency.
About the Grantee
Hotspot is an Abuja-based ICT company delivering innovative telecommunications, networking, and digital solutions. Hotspot was originally founded to provide contracted services such as managing cellular towers on behalf of MNOs but has recently expanded its operations to provide an “infrastructure as a service” business model where it constructs its own cellular towers and leases space for MNOs to place their network antennas on its cellular towers. Since 2012, Hotspot has expanded this new business model by building over 100 base stations.
The Project refers to Hotspot’s planned deployment of 2,000 cellular base stations in rural regions of Nigeria. Hotspot aims to build and operate 500 base stations within the project’s first year and bring an additional 1,500 base stations online within three to seven years. The Project will be financed through debt raised on the domestic capital market. Hotspot proposes a novel operating model, first introduced to remote markets by U.S. technology innovators like Vanu, for cellular network expansion. Normally, tower companies like Hotspot build and operate base station infrastructure and lease space on their towers/masts, where MNOs place the equipment needed to operate their radio access network (RAN). In this Project, Hotspot proposes to directly operate the RAN on frequency leased by MTN and 9Mobile. The MNOs will still provide the customer interface and operations/business support systems (OSS/BSS). Hotspot and the MNO will share the costs of backhaul to the MNO’s core network, interconnection, and billing.
About the Study
The objective of the Study is to support the deployment of up to 2,000 mobile network base stations in select rural communities in Nigeria. The Study will include (i) an analysis of the rural telephony market in Nigeria, a demand study, and a review of Hotspot’s commercial partnership agreements; (ii) technical and commercial validation of the two operational proof of concept sites (Abugi Village in Kogi State and Yakiru Village in Kwara State); (iii) a technical analysis of the design of the contemplated deployment; (iv) a review of Hotspot’s human resources with respect to the Project deployment; (v) a preliminary environmental impact assessment; (vi) a comprehensive economic analysis of the Project, including cost and revenue modeling; (vii) a financing plan; (viii) an analysis of the regulatory and legal framework governing the Project, to include licensing and permitting requirements; (ix) a report on prospective sources of supply and U.S. export potential; (x) analysis of the Project’s development impact; and (xi) an implementation plan for the Project.