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Africa Online Expands Namibian Presence with $5 Million Deal

[Nairobi, KENYA] Pan-African Internet Service Provider Africa Online announced a $5-million deal on Friday with UUNet SA that will boost its presence in Namibia by over 4,000 dial-up subscribers. This deal leapfrogs Africa Online to the top of the ISP heap in Namibia in terms of dial-up subscriber numbers.

In terms of the deal, Africa Online will take over the service management and development of UUNet SA's Namibian operation which includes 2mbps of bandwidth, 325 dial-in lines and 13 countrywide points-of-presence. Africa Online's Head of the Southern African region Richard Beddow comments that the service level agreement also provides his company with a platform for further regional expansion.

The service provider revealed that one of the benefits of this deal is that it will provide access to the technical skills and resources of UUNet SA. The South African based UUNet SA provides corporate network services for a number of companies across the region, but the skills base that Africa Online will be hoping to tap will be that available through UUNet SA's US-based parent company, telecoms conglomerate MCI Worldcom.

Africa Online also expects to use UUNet's networking expertise to expand its existing E-Touch program. This program provides e-mail and Internet access to an estimated 60,000 people in both rural and urban areas of Africa through a network of 600 walk-in Internet centers.

The Kenyan-based ISP has been pursuing an aggressive expansion plan in recent months and now has a presence in eight African countries, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda in east Africa, Ghana and and the Ivory Coast in west Africa, and Zimbabwe, Swaziland and Namibia in southern Africa.



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