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US Ex-Im Bank has approved a US$10.4mn loan guarantee to support the sale by Harris Corp and other US suppliers of equipment and services for a fixed wireless telecoms network throughout five states in southwestern Nigeria.

The buyer and end user is Odu’a Telecoms Limited of Dugbe, Nigeria. Suppliers on the export sale include Marconi Communications, Andrew Corp, Eagle Telephonics, Eltek Energy, and Riverstone Networks.

The guaranteed lender on the transaction is Toronto Dominion Bank, Houston. The guarantor on the transaction is a consortium of three Nigerian banks – Access Bank, Union Bank of Nigeria, and Wema Bank.

Odu’a Tel will use Harris’s point-to-multipoint broadband wireless access system (ClearBurst MB) over a microwave backhaul system. Initially, Odu’a Tel will buy 10,500 remote stations and 13 base stations. The purchase includes antennas, radio equipment, power systems, related services and additional telecommunication software and hardware. The network is expected to have a capacity of 75,000 lines by year’s end, with 564,500 lines operational by 2008.

The network will provide voice and data services to residential and public payphone customers.  It also can provide leased lines and video conferencing services. 

Currently, two out of every 100 Nigerians have access to phones.