Operators should be keen to adopt satellite-based e-platforms if they are to achieve their full business potential in less developed countries (LDCs), advised SES Techcom Services’ Vice President Commercial Norbert Willems, as satellite connectivity can be quickly set up to fulfil such basic needs as healthcare and education in rural or poorly connected parts of the world.
In his address during the SES Seminar on day two of the IBC Conference & Exhibition in Amsterdam, Willems presented SES’s involvement in the emergency.lu deployment in Nepal, its medical e-health extension SATMED in Benin and the Space4edu project in South Africa. Satellite has been shown to not only be a quick and easy way to provide universal broadband access beyond the reach of terrestrial transmission networks, but also enable faster election results through e-government, an initiative successfully undertaken for the Burkina Faso national elections in 2012.
“In LDCs, only 7 percent of households have Internet access compared with the global average of 46 percent,” said Willems. “As demonstrated with the Space4edu project in South Africa and our SATMED e-health platform in Benin, satellite broadband is a key factor in achieving connectivity in rural areas and a vital ingredient for socio-economic development.”
The Internet connectivity of e-platforms such as SATMED, Willems highlighted, provide a vital communication link in isolated regions, improving diagnosis and response times through satellite capacity and thereby improving healthcare available as well as facilitating the training of staff. This was demonstrated in Benin, where a satellite powered e-health platform developed by SES and SES Techcom Services has been used to share vital medical information and knowledge between three rural medical units.
Satellite-based connectivity set up by SES Techcom Services (then SES Broadband Services) was also used for the Space4Edu project last year. Twelve schools in the remote Greytown/Weenen area of the KwaZulu Natal province in South Africa were able to connect to the Internet and to e-learning and e-teaching applications. The 2014 project was part of the Ready to Read initiative (R2R), a long-standing agreement with the South African Education Department providing professional training and qualification of teachers across South Africa.
“Satellite networks are complementary to terrestrial and submarine cable networks already in place in these regions,” said Willems. “These networks enhance the overall broadband delivery ecosystem and are especially vital in disaster response communications such as emergency.lu in Nepal.”
SES set up vital communication links in Nepal earlier this year following the devastating earthquake which hit the region, wiping out the countries telecommunications infrastructure. emergency.lu kits were deployed and re-directed between neighboring nation Vanuatu and Tanna Island, enabling the Vanuatu government, the United Nations and other humanitarian organizations to cross-communicate aid responses.
“In sub-Saharan Africa, approximately 36 percent of the population lives more than 50 kilometers from a node on a fiber network, making satellite connectivity a key enabler of Internet access,” added Willems. “Just 10 percent more broadband can mean a 1.38 percent increase in GDP for developing nations, making it a lucrative proposition for operators looking to maximize their overseas operations.”
For information on the complete programme of SES seminars during IBC 2015 visit http://www.ses.com/21331311/SES_Seminar_Series
SES is the world-leading satellite operator with a fleet of more than 50 geostationary satellites. The company provides satellite communications services to broadcasters, content and internet service providers, mobile and fixed network operators and business and governmental organisations worldwide.
SES stands for long-lasting business relationships, high-quality service and excellence in the broadcasting industry. The culturally diverse regional teams of SES are located around the globe and work closely with customers to meet their specific satellite bandwidth and service requirements.
SES (NYSE Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG) holds participations in Ciel in Canada and QuetzSat in Mexico, as well as a strategic participation in satellite infrastructure start-up O3b Networks. Further information under: www.ses.com.
About SES Techcom Services
SES Techcom Services is a 100% owned affiliate of SES, providing integrated end-to-end satellite solutions and operational services tailored to customers’ needs worldwide.
Services offered by SES Techcom Services, which is ISO 9001 certified, include the design and delivery of ground infrastructure and operational services, VSAT networks, broadband connectivity and turnkey teleport solutions. It also develops innovative solutions for e-government, e-health and e-education, as well as applications for worldwide emergency satellite communications, such as emergency.lu, which provides connectivity within 48 hours in times of humanitarian crisis.