The arrival of HTS (high-throughput satellite) in Africa is fuelling the demand for VSAT services. The demand is critical to unlocking connectivity on the continent, where over 70% of the population continues to remain unconnected. This sentiment was also evident at the Mobile World Congress 2019 last week where Intelsat made it clear that delivering on the promise of 5G would depend heavily on the provision of satellite networks.
Speaking about the connectivity challenge, Michèle Scanlon, Managing Director, iWayAfrica (Wholesale VSAT Division) said: “Once thought obsolete as mobile and fibre networks were ever increasing penetration in Africa, HTS satellite services are proving they can deliver on today’s customer expectations for high speed affordable connectivity in areas where even mobile networks do not reach.”
She notes that as elsewhere in the world, Africa is seeing a greater reliance on internet connectivity as governments strive to enable new digital economies and the many associated economic benefits. “Every 10% increase in broadband penetration can trigger a 1.38% increase in a country’s GDP, and every 1% increase in broadband connectivity can generate a 5% increase in job creation. Clearly, the wider the prevalence of broadband, the higher the probability for improved economies, and satellite is definitely key to widening the reach of broadband access in Africa.”
iWayAfrica is investing in new markets, especially West and Central Africa, through establishing new distributor channel partners for VSAT growth. “We already have our own licences in 8 markets and are open to new licence opportunities to expand our footprint even further. Our aim is to bring broadband happiness to Africa to facilitate a bright digital future, especially in areas where there is no, nor likely to be, alternative means of connectivity,” she added.