(Net1) The facility will support MIH’s on-going investment into Net1 Indonesia, which is developing a mobile broadband network in rural and peri-urban parts of Indonesia, bringing internet connectivity to underserviced areas in the fourth most populous country in the world. Only 9% of Indonesian households have access to fixed broadband connectivity. The company aims to provide connectivity to around 600,000 households over a 5-year period and a range of rural, sub-urban businesses (including, amongst others, utility and mining companies) as well as Government entities, which stand to benefit from superior data connectivity.
Net1 Indonesia is the only operator in Indonesia licensed to operate the 450MHz spectrum, which it has been granted into perpetuity. This spectrum is significantly more efficient in broadcasting signals over long distances compared with the traditional higher frequency spectrums.
Gautam Sahdev, Partner and Portfolio Manager at Gemcorp Capital said: “The challenge to connect rural and low-income communities is a big one, but in addressing this issue, there is also an exciting opportunity for Indonesia to adopt new and more versatile technology without having to support legacy infrastructures. MIH, through Net1 Indonesia, is a provider of innovative technology and benefits from an excellent management team with a track record of successfully building out broadband services. We are thrilled to be providing new capital for the business so that it can widen access to the internet across the country.”
Amit Vithlani, Group CFO and a Board Member of Net1 International said: “We were delighted to have closed this transaction with Gemcorp. They provided us with a structured financing solution, which advances the funds in phases, to support our ambitious plans for Indonesia. We hope this represents the first of many transactions we conclude with them as part of our partnership”.
Net1 International is listed on the Norwegian Over the Counter Market (“NOTC”), and currently has investments in Indonesia and Philippines. It has a highly experienced management team with a track record of rolling out and managing 450MHz networks. Its operations previously formed part of Ice Group, the #3 mobile operator in Norway, prior to a de-merger in 2018 which resulted in a separate listing for Net1 International.
This is the first Gemcorp deal in Southeast Asia and solidifies Gemcorp’s presence in the emerging markets fintech and telecoms space.
Article originally published in Net1.