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December 21, 2009

Norsat Enters Wireless Networking with Sale of Wireless Equipment in Africa
By Jyothi Mahalingham
TMCnet Contributor

Norsat International Inc., a Richmond, British Columbia-headquartered provider of satellite solutions. reportedly announced it is investing of funds with Tonse Solutions a Malawi, Africa-based wireless broadband operator through Norsad Capital Inc., its capital investing division.

By using the strategic investment Norsat has acquired 19.99 percent equity stake in Tonse that is currently valued $500,000 and further invested $700,000 into a 3-year convertible bond that provides an interest rate of 10 percent, thus taking its total investment to $1,200,000. Norset also received a purchase order worth $1 million from Tonse for the supplying of wireless devices and software for developing a wireless broadband system in Lilongwe the capital of Malawi.
“Tonse will be the first to offer a true broadband experience, including a faster, safer and more affordable connection,” Jam Kaunda, CEO, Tonse Solutions, said. “We are extremely pleased to partner with Norsat to bring the next generation wireless technology to our community. The technology that will be deployed will be a more reliable, more robust and more affordable communications service. We look forward to growing our business together with Norsat and creating a mutually profitable and lasting relationship.”
Tonse, a Lilongwe- Malawi-based company, recently received a license to provide wireless broadband network. The company is looking forward to provide cost effective and reliable voice, data and video solutions to its clients. Currently, Malawi lacks telecommunication infrastructure and Tonse wanted to capitalize the situation and capture the market.
The company, at the start, would aim for large number of high value clients from government, corporate, public and private educational institutions, hospitals, hotels and Non-Governmental Organizations. Tonse is planning to extend the services to individual clients after expansions.
“This is an important initiative for Norsat to develop a reference site for our wireless networking division,” said Amiee Chan, president and CEO, Norsat International (News - Alert) Inc., said. “This investment is a natural fit for Norsat, with our vision to be a dominant provider of communications in remote and austere regions of the world. By assisting Tonse to establish its broadband capabilities in a market like Malawi, Norsat International has the potential opportunity to reap the rewards of being a partner to service providers in emerging markets.”

Jyothi Mahalingham is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Jyothi's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Amy Tierney


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