Satellite communication services fuel broadband, IoT applications in underserved areas.
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Copyright 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.
The recent launch of several new services in sub-Saharan Africa is extending satellite-enabled broadband from urban areas further into remote regions where businesses are starving for connectivity.
Satellite is considered the better option compared to fiber and LTE mobile infrastructure in unconnected areas or where the existing connectivity is slow and long install lead times are the rule.
Through its YahClick satellite service, for example, ICT infrastructure provider Vox recently launched uncapped data and voice satellite service plans in South Africa in an effort to provide cost-effective connectivity to underserviced regions. In rural South Africa, some commercial farms and game lodges have been utilising satellite connectivity for communication and security.
Telemetry is another satellite-enabled application, as it allows for operation and remote monitoring of devices.
Whether it’s telcos looking to mitigate the risk of copper cable thefts or maritime industry players seeking to track ships across seas, satellite-enabled services in Africa are on the rise.
A host of new commercial ventures are springing up around space technologies, aiming to offer services and meet market demands in numerous sectors such as telecommunications, education, defence, security, aviation, maritime, mining, agriculture, environment, development, and health, according to the 2019 edition of the NewSpace Africa Industry Report. The report, which tracked space industry developments on the African continent between 1998–2019, says that the industry has already reached over US$7 billion of annual revenue and is projected to increase at a 7.3 percent compound annual growth rate, to exceed US$10 billion by 2024.
Increasing broadband connectivity has a direct impact on the economy and satellite is key to extending the reach of broadband access in Africa. Every 10 percent increase in broadband penetration can trigger a 1.38 percent increase in a country’s GDP, and every 1 percent increase in broadband connectivity can generate a 5 percent increase in job creation, according to a World Bank report.
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