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Avanti: Contract win, new boss

February 5, 2018

By Chris Forrester

In what are potentially significant changes for financially troubled London-based Avanti Communications, the company announced a useful new contract and says it has appointed a new CEO.

Kyle Whitehill is the new CEO, and he will join on April 3rd 2018.  He joins Avanti from Liquid Telecom Group, where he has been CEO of Liquid Telecom, South Africa since March 2017. Previously, Whitehill was with Vodafone Group for almost 15 years, where he served as CEO of Vodafone Qatar, overseeing the successful launch of the country’s fastest 4G+ network, CEO of Vodafone Ghana for three years, establishing the company as a market leader in both fixed-line and enterprise services, and COO of Vodafone India, having initially spent almost seven years leading one of Vodafone’s biggest enterprise business units in the competitive UK market.

Following the arrival of Whitehill, Alan Harper, Interim CEO, will resume his role as a Non-Executive director. A statement thanked Harper for his “important contribution during a demanding period in the Company’s history”.

The new contract announcement is dependent on the successful launch of Avanti’s Hylas-4 satellite early in April. The deal covers a partnership with Global Partnership for Education (GPE), an international organisation which according to a statement “ensures children across developing countries have access to quality education, and has pledged to deliver satellite broadband via its new High Throughput Ka-band Satellite, HYLAS 4, to 1,000 rural schools across Africa.”

The offer covers access by remote and marginalised schools in Africa which will be able to access the Internet for approximately $10 a day, gaining access to eLearning and digital opportunities. The connectivity will be delivered via Avanti’s ECO (Every Community Online) which provides school and surrounding community with Wi-Fi access. Community members can download the ECO mobile payment app and make micropayments for broadband credits which convert to data allowances delivering community transformation in rural Africa through connectivity.

Avanti is one of four initial companies who have pledged to improve and provide affordable education systems, enabling access to learning opportunities for children in developing countries over the next three years.

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