CEFIB Maximizes Wireless Broadband Reach and Business-Grade Performance in Mali, West Africa with Aperto Networks’ 3.5 GHz PacketWave®  

Milpitas, Calif. and Bamako, Mali., (July 9, 2003) – Aperto Networks, a leading provider of multiservice wireless access systems for global markets, and CEFIB, a leading West African alternative carrier serving major enterprise users, jointly announce deployment of a 3.5 GHz PacketWave-powered network to cover Mali’s capital, Bamako, and hundreds of enterprise sites including the country’s utilities, banks and trading companies.  

In operation since August of 2002, CEFIB’s business-grade wireless network has expanded broadband reach to all of Bamako’s enterprises, enabling the carrier to add dozens of the largest enterprises in the capital city, including prominent Mali financial services firms Banque de Developpement du Mali (BDM), Banque de l’Habitat du Mali (BHM), international logistics company Groupe Bolloré/SDV, the recently-privatized energy agency Societé Energie du Mali (EDM), and the African IT trading company CFAO Technologies. CEFIB is targeting federal government offices and schools in Bamako as next-phase subscribers.  

"We are reaping the rewards of having deployed Aperto’s systems for maximum reach and robust IP feature-rich performance," stated CEFIB founder and chair Serge Dergham. "It was our goal to be able to serve the most demanding corporate users with higher quality and far faster speed than the incumbent. We also knew that neither 2.4 GHz spectrum nor 802.11 technology would provide carrier-class metropolitan area networks. Aperto’s systems deployed flawlessly in just one day, and their minimal tech support requirements and very high availability allow us to set the new standard for data networking in West Africa."  

CEFIB delivers wireless VPNs for corporate site interconnection, high-speed Internet access and telephony applications. Available wireline service cannot compete with CEFIB’s access speeds, which span from fractional E-1 to 12 Mbps, with 20 Mbps two-way burst capability. CEFIB is able to activate new service for subscribers in less than one day -- even in harsh environments -- and quickly enables QoS features through Aperto’s ServiceQ software. Because outside copper plant is often subject to outages and/or theft, the service reliability of CEFIB’s air interface is the connectivity option of choice among Mali’s businesses.  

"CEFIB has leveraged Aperto’s broadband wireless access features to move Mali’s business community from a 64 kbps access standard directly to E-1 and above broadband speeds," emphasized Dr. Reza Ahy, president and founder of Aperto Networks. "This will be a huge business benefit to the nation’s economy, the majority of which is located in the nation’s capital. CEFIB’s in-country technical team quickly became self-sufficient in new-generation broadband wireless access and is highly competent in provisioning new data services for its base."  

About Aperto Networks

Aperto Networks is a leading provider of multiservice broadband wireless access systems for global markets. The company was founded to provide a breakthrough solution to one of today’s critical network bottlenecks - last-mile broadband access. The PacketWave system provides a family of base stations, subscriber units, and associated radios and antennas in 2.5, 3.5 and 5 GHz frequency bands for global point-to-point and point-to-multipoint deployments. Its scalable systems and patent-pending technologies support new wireless builds and complement existing wireline broadband access technology. Aperto systems have been deployed by service providers in 25 countries, meeting their needs for ease of installation, IP-rich network functionality and cost effectiveness, while enabling rapid provisioning and interference resilient operation in dense urban to suburban locations. The company is a founding member and leading contributor to IEEE 802.16a as well as to the ETSI-BRAN standards, and a board member of the WiMAX Forum. For more information on Aperto Networks, go to www.apertonet.com.  


Formed in 1996, CEFIB has become the leading ISP in Mali. Since 2000 it has provided wireless access service as well, first in the 2.4 GHz frequency and now in 3.5 GHz. The company offers broadband wireless and dial-up Internet access, data network installation and management, IT support services, web site design and hosting. Privately held, CEFIB was originally founded as a technical training academy (le Centre d’Étude et de Formation en Informatique et Bureautique), and is funded by capital investment from the Middle East and Africa. CEFIB counts major Bamako businesses as its customers, including the nation’s primary banks, hospitals, construction companies, delivery firms, travel and hotel concerns, UN agencies and other non-governmental organizations. CEFIB also has a partnership with Mali’s largest television station, TV Kledu.