New satellite connectivity model set to empower township/rural entrepreneurs
BUSINESSBy BiztechAfrica - Aug. 17, 2012, 9:02 a.m.
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.”
MORE BUSINESS NEWS
MTN Group records 210,1 million subscribersMTN has passed the 210 million subscriber mark and recorded a significant data revenue increase, according to the group’s latest quarterly report. Read More
MTN makes it onto World Champions listMTN Group has been named as the only South African company on the World Champions list. Read More
VMware Reports First Quarter 2014 ResultsVMWare has announced Year-over-Year revenue growth of 14% to $1.36 Billion in its Q114 results. Read More
Rlg to expand solar kiosk planRlg Communications is planning to replicate the solar powered charging and sales kiosk that it recently launched in the Gambia in Ghana. Read More
Further African expansion for PhoenixPhoenix Distribution, a leading broad-based distributor on the African continent, has expanded its office in Nairobi, Kenya, in a move to better serve its partners in East Africa. Read More
Garmin seeks business partners in West AfricaGarmin is hosting a trade delegation in Accra, Ghana from the 12th to 16th May 2014. Read More
Orange Telkom not closing Kenya business: GhosseinSpeculation that Orange Telkom Kenya would be closing its Kenyan operations has been put to rest. Read More
Dimension Data enters Ghana’s IT marketDimension Data, a South Africa-based ICT solutions and services provider, has announced its entry into the Ghanaian ICT market. Read More
Glo rewards business partnersGlobacom has showered 53 high-end vehicles and other prizes on its trade partners responsible for distributing Globacom’s products and services across Nigeria. Read More
FEATURED STORYKenyan shift to Green Economy would generate USD 45bn by 2030
Kenya’s transition to a green economy could produce major economic benefits equivalent to an estimated USD 45 billion by 2030, a new study shows.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHE-waste threatens Ghana’s beaches
Many beaches in Ghana, already stressed by pollution and poor maintenance, are now facing a new threat: e-waste.
COMPANY NEWSMTN makes it onto World Champions list
MTN Group has been named as the only South African company on the World Champions list.VMware Reports First Quarter 2014 Results
VMWare has announced Year-over-Year revenue growth of 14% to $1.36 Billion in its Q114 results.