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

AccessKenya in Kes 300m fibre investment

AccessKenya Group has completed the rollout of its metropolitan fibre network in key target areas around Nairobi and its environs. Read More

Malawi Internet costs drop with submarine connectivity

Malawi Telecommunications Limited (MTL) has said the country’s Internet access is now 50 percent cheaper than it was five years ago. Read More

Congo’s Université Marien Ngouabi launches website

L’Université Marien Ngouabi, Congo Brazzaville’s oldest tertiary institution, launched its first website this week. Read More

Internet of Things – when problems can be hidden in a billion places

In the Internet of Things era all things can be connected. But when billions of things are connected, there are also billions of points of contact to sift through to identify faults, says Riverbed. Read More

Internet.org business plan a “race to the bottom” - 2go

Partnerships between African operators and Facebook’s Internet.org app that make certain content free to subscribers is a “race to the bottom” which will shrink long-term revenues and hurt local content providers, according to Marc Herson, COO of mobile social network 2go. Read More

Liquid Telecom to launch FTTH services in Kenya, Rwanda

Liquid Telecom has announced it will launch Fibre To The Home (FTTH) in Kenya, Rwanda and two other African countries early next year. Read More

Rwanda officially launches 4G LTE network

Rwanda has officially launched its 4G LTE network, aiming to take access to 95% of citizens by 2017.  Read More

Submarine cable to be built across South Atlantic

Angola Cables has signed a contract with NEC Corporation to build the world’s first submarine cable system across the South Atlantic. Read More

Inquest into politician’s death turns to satellite images

An inquest into the death of an opposition politician has seen the parties involved toying with the idea of using satellite image experts.  Read More

Spawning Africa’s digital dragons in the cloud

For much of Africa, the digital dragon has not yet been born, but in the cloud, we have the ideal incubator to nurture dragons and opportunities alike. Read More

PRESS OFFICES

Sage ERP AfricaSAP AfricaSage Pastel AccountingTrust PayVMWareSamsung ElectronicsMitsumi DistributionPhoenix DistributionSage HR AfricaMTN BusinessSchneider ElectricMultichoice

FEATURED STORY

GSMA: half a billion mobile subscribers in SSA by 2020GSMA: half a billion mobile subscribers in SSA by 2020

The number of unique mobile subscribers in Sub-Saharan Africa will pass the half billion mark in 2020, says a new GSMA report.

IN DEPTH

Africa lags on digital migration Africa lags on digital migration

Only three African countries have so far completed the digital migration process, and serious issues are hampering the migration in other nations.  

COMPANY NEWS

Leading through volatility in Africa

For the businesses that are prepared to face the storm and manage the volatility afflicting the continent, there are still huge rewards to be had from doing business ...