Konnect Africa: satellite broadband to change lives

Konnect Africa, a Eutelsat affiliate, is now offering next gen broadband through partnerships in multiple African countries. The company explains why satellite broadband is relevant to Africa.

With its new-generation services now in Benin, Cameroon, Kenya, Lesotho, Nigeria, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania and Uganda, Konnect Africa’s innovative service offerings and products have already convinced a number of local operators, telecom companies and resellers that it is a partner of choice in using satellite technology to unlock access to the Internet in Africa.

“Connecting Africa means changing the way people live, study, perform business, and transforming daily life. We aim to take broadband further and closer to multiple development sectors such as the healthcare system, education, agriculture or SMEs”, explained Laurent Grimaldi, Chief Executive Officer of Konnect Africa.

Konnect Africa elaborates on its role in bringing satellite broadband to Africa:

Why is satellite broadband specifically relevant to Africa?

Satellite broadband makes sense for emerging regions, as it gets round the need to install terrestrial infrastructures which take time to be set up, are expensive and therefore call for major investments. Our technology comes from “above” and this means we can successfully complement existing fibre or ADSL schemes that cannot extend far beyond urban areas.

The added value of satellite technology is twofold:

- Capacity, as we use High-Throughput Satellites (HTS), which provides 30 times more capacity (100 Gbps) than satellites designed for broadcasting.

- Easy setup, as with a simple, easy to set up antenna, we aim to guarantee reliable, quality and efficient services in sub-Saharan Africa.

What is the cost compared to other connectivity alternatives?

The cost depends on what people actually use. At Konnect Africa, we have developed specific offers and payment schemes which correspond to each market needs.

We often hear that pricing of satellite services is an issue in Africa. In reality, the significant advances in our industry and technology are prompting lower prices, especially in the regions where living standards are low. With our local partners, who will eventually manage customer relationships and have worked to build attractive and flexible offers based on usage habits. Depending on market features, we expect Wi-Fi hotspots to be accessible for a few cents, family offers for a few dozens of dollars; corporate services covering videoconferencing, storage, audio-visual content development and safe and reliable communication will also be available within the range of local market prices.

Why is Konnect Africa the partner of choice?

Konnect Africa aims to be close to each African market covered by its services, to understand the needs of mobile and ISPs, as well as those of users.

We work on providing flexible products to our partners to make sure that they will be able to deliver services in line with their own customers’ expectations.

Partnership-driven approach

Our partners’ success is at the heart of our strategy; we believe that supporting them at operational and strategic levels is the best way to foster our business development across the continent.

- We are available for support any time. Our focus is primarily to ensure reliability of service, leveraging a unique technical platform available 24/7 with dedicated VIP service, a full range of online technical tools through OSS, and many end-to-end solutions available to partners.

- We help our local partners gain a competitive advantage. We support our partners with specific marketing and commercial tools to better target customer segments, and help them reach high quality standards in customer outreach. We also offer training, which help them to stand out from competition.

- We believe in knowledge sharing. For us this is the best way for establishing a strong and long term relationships with our partners. We have adjusted our training sessions to the various profiles of partners. Newcomers less familiar with our industry are also invited to join.

Pioneering approach

We’ve looked into ways to adapt ‘pay as you go’ models developed in the solar and telecommunications sectors to our industry - which is a pioneering approach.

African customers are used to be charged for many essential services like water, energy or telecoms, on the basis of their actual consumption. They have the same expectation from internet access, and if our partners charge customers on that basis, then we can only charge them for the capacity they will use as partners.

A wide experience

Konnect Africa has inherited more than 40 years of technical and commercial expertise from Eutelsat. The group has a leading position in Europe for satellite broadband services with the KA-SAT satellite, a strong presence in Africa through local agencies and through satellite broadcasting.

This innovative vision of our business and the long-term expertise of Eutelsat differentiates us from other satellite broadband providers.

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