New satellite connectivity model set to empower township/rural entrepreneurs

INTERNET

|
Image: By Maxwell
New satellite connectivity model set to empower township/rural entrepreneurs

Maxwell Technology has launched a new product, Satellite Hot Spot, which it says has the potential to transform the business model for providing connectivity to underserved communities in townships and rural areas.

World Bank research has shown a direct correlation between broadband penetration and gross domestic product (GDP): every 10% increase in broadband penetration increases economic growth by 1.38%.Broadband rollout is thus perceived as a vital driver of desperately needed job creation in South Africa, which is why it is a flagship project of the Department of Communications.

“However, finding the right business model for low-income areas where computers are in short supply has proved to be difficult,” says Kallie Carlsen, technical director at Maxwell Technology. “The problem has always been the high costs of putting in terrestrial infrastructure as against the lower rate of return. Satellite has always seemed to be the best technical alternative but, again, the business model hasn’t been right—until now. When we came across this product we were blown away because it has the potential to turn this sector on its head.”

The Satellite Hot Spot product is offered by Sat-Space Africa, a leading provider of reliable and innovative solutions to Africa’s connectivity challenges. It uses the AMOS 5 satellite to provide connectivity to even the most remote areas — with only onsite satellite dishes and routers required.

The product is aimed at rural entrepreneurs wanting to set up Internet cafes, lodges and hotels situated in remote areas and even wireless operators looking for a stable alternative or addition to their terrestrial infrastructure.

The key, says Carlsen, is the Satellite Hot Spot’s innovative billing model. The traditional per-month billing model means that the client is charged for bandwidth even if it is not sold on to end customers.

By contrast, the Satellite Hot Sport uses a router to connect to the Sat-Space billing system, allowing the entrepreneur to purchase vouchers per end user—in this way, connectivity is only charged for once it is used, effectively creating a prepaid model.

“This billing model is a huge innovation in the satellite business, and we are first to market in Africa,” says Shimri Lotan, the sales director of Sat-Space Africa. “We are creating the conditions to make Internet connectivity a reality for those living in remote areas. Every dollar invested in Internet connectivity has an immediate impact on the education, self-development and welfare of users.”

“The prepaid approach was pioneered here in South Africa and, one could argue, lies behind the phenomenal growth of our mobile market,” Carlsen observes. “I believe that by applying it to satellite connectivity, we are now in a position to change the dynamics of the broadband market in our underserviced areas.

It’s all about removing the risk for the resellers of connectivity, be they township/rural entrepreneurs or tourist destinations. The business is always cash positive and this means that it will be in a position to offer a cost-effective product to its customers—and because the cost is based on time and not bandwidth, the connectivity experience will also be superior.”



Share the News

Get Daily Newsletter

comments powered by Disqus

MORE INTERNET NEWS

Jumia: mobile traffic up by 13%

A study conducted by Kenya’s leading online mall, Jumia, reveals that mobile traffic to the site increased by 13 percent over the past year. Read More

Vodacom connects customers to IXPN

Vodacom Business Nigeria has connected its global network to the Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN).  Read More

Internet Solutions targets Ugandan market

Internet Solutions has launched innovative ICT products for Uganda in a bid to tap into the lucrative but less exploited Ugandan market. Read More

Delving into the sub-Saharan digital economy

The Oxford Internet Institute (OII) is carrying out a research project in an effort to better understand the digital economy and the societal implications of network technologies in sub-Saharan Africa.  Read More

Liquid Telecom brings 100MBPS broadband to Victoria Falls

Liquid Telecom today announced the latest expansion of its Fibre To The Home (FTTH) network in Zimbabwe. Read More

Jumia supports Garissa victim fund

To help with the funeral expenses and support the families of the victims of the Garissa university attack, Jumia will donate 100% of proceeds made through its Jumia is Kenya shop to the Kenya Red Cross. Read More

e-commerce space untapped, says phonekings head

E-commerce is the future, says the head of a new online electronics mall launched in Nigeria. Tayo Olusanya spoke to Kokumo Goodie in Lagos. Read More

Nigeria’s mobile internet users pass 80m

Figures from Nigeria’s telecoms regulator show a strong increase in the number of mobile internet users on the Global System for Mobile communications in January. Read More

Council approves four fibre optic landing points

Nigeria’s National Broadband Council has approved the building of optic fibre cable landing points in four coastal states to be funded by the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF). Read More

Gabon hit by internet disruptions

Internet connections are back in Gabon after three days of black out - a mystery telecommunication authorities and operators seem unable to explain. Read More

PRESS OFFICES

Sage ERP AfricaSAP AfricaSage Pastel AccountingTrust PayVMWareSamsung ElectronicsMitsumi DistributionPhoenix DistributionMTN BusinessSchneider ElectricMultichoiceMicrosoft 4Afrika

FEATURED STORY

e-commerce space untapped, says phonekings heade-commerce space untapped, says phonekings head

E-commerce is the future, says the head of a new online electronics mall launched in Nigeria. Tayo Olusanya spoke to Kokumo Goodie in Lagos.

IN DEPTH

Villagers get solar training at Barefoot College Villagers get solar training at Barefoot College

The Botswana Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) has seconded seven semi-illiterate mostly Ngwatle villagers for a six month solar electrification training course at the famed Barefoot College in India.