New satellite connectivity model set to empower township/rural entrepreneurs

BUSINESS

-
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 BUSINESS NEWS

Call for pan-African contact centre association

Interactive Intelligence has called for the creation of a call centre association for Nigeria and other African countries as a way of promoting a standard for call centres. Read More

AMI, Strathmore launch free online courses for managers and entrepreneurs in Africa

Managers and entrepreneurs in Africa can now gain advanced skills for free, with the launch of free online courses courtesy of the African Management Initiative (AMI). Read More

Bytes, NCR and Barclays in ATM deal

Bytes Managed Solutions, the exclusive distributor of NCR technology solutions in Southern Africa had signed a deal with Barclays Bank of Botswana (BBB) for the installation of intelligent cash deposit ATMs. Read More

Orange reports 8% revenue growth

Integrated telecommunications service provider Orange has announced an 8% revenue growth for the overall business for the first half of this year, compared to the same period last year. Read More

Business Connexion appoints CEO

Business Connexion Group Limited has announced that Mr. Isaac Mophatlane has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of the company. Read More

Managed service support key to growth for iWayAfrica

Pan African telecoms operator, Gondwana International Networks (GIN) has announced that its iWayAfrica business will be partnering with managed services company, SevenC Computing to grow its foothold in key Africa territories.  Read More

Dire need for top IT leadership

There is a huge demand for top leaders with high-level information technology skills, but there are very few candidates who can fill these positions, one of SA’s leading executive search experts says. Read More

AccTech Systems moves strategically into Africa

AccTech Systems has signed an Independent Software Vendor (ISV) agreement with Microsoft to provide solutions to the Microsoft Dynamics NAV and GP Dynamics channel in Africa. Read More

Acer steps up MEA commercial focus

Acer Middle East and Africa is renewing its focus on the region’s commercial market, with new products and services and an enhanced channel strategy. Read More

uAfrica.com rolls out African expansion plan

uAfrica.com, a leading South African eCommerce technology company, today announced the launch of the first phase of its expansion plan into the rest of Africa.  Read More

PRESS OFFICES

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

FEATURED STORY

Widening ICT skills gap: Cause for concernWidening ICT skills gap: Cause for concern

Nigeria's FDI gains could be eroded by the widening gap in indigenous skilled ICT manpower, writes Kokumo Goodie.

IN DEPTH

Kenya rolls out e-extension to improve agricultureKenya rolls out e-extension to improve agriculture

In a bid to curb the overwhelmed number of agricultural extension officers in Kenya, the ministry of agriculture is embracing technology with their introduction of E-Extension services, which are aimed at reaching out to over 7 million farmers annually.

COMPANY NEWS

How the cloud can power entrepreneurship and urbanisation in Africa

Cloud computing is not only fundamentally changing the way business operates, it is also driving a new wave of job creation opportunities, says SAP Africa.