Satellite communications: Revolutionising connectivity and solving global challenges

Satellite communications have addressed some of the world's biggest challenges and have transformed the way people can connect with each other.
Andrey Kirillovich

By Andrey Kirillovich, Director of Strategy, Marketing and Business Development, Intersputnik International, Organisation of Space Communications.

Satellite communications have transformed the way people connect with each other, in addition to playing a critical role in addressing some of the world’s biggest challenges. Satellites have bridged the digital divide, connecting people worldwide and supporting various applications such as broadband Internet, telephony, multimedia, remote sensing, navigation, telemedicine, and education. Therefore, this technology has contributed significantly to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals, from fighting poverty and hunger to supporting the development of industries, innovation, infrastructure, and sustainable communities.

The Future of Telemedicine:

One of the most significant challenges facing the world today is healthcare, particularly in remote or underdeveloped areas. Satellites provide telemedicine services, connecting doctors and patients in remote areas with specialists located in more populated areas. This technology enables doctors to diagnose and treat patients without requiring them to travel long distances, saving time and money for both patients and healthcare providers. Broadband access through satellite has also made it possible to improve the qualifications of medical staff by providing remote access to industry databases, information resources, distance learning programmes, professional retraining, and online seminars.

Satellite technologies have become widely used by first responders’ units due to their autonomy, high deployment speed, high throughput, and cost-effectiveness. This allows for the provision of qualified assistance to victims immediately after an incident, significantly increasing the likelihood of saving lives. As an active player in the satellite communications market, Intersputnik — an international intergovernmental organisation headquartered in Moscow carrying a 50-year legacy — provides bandwidth for satellite communication channels to support telemedicine services for medical organisations, establishments, teams, and first responders’ units worldwide. This also includes projects in developing countries.

Satellite Solutions Sowing the Seeds of Precision Farming:

Satellite communications are also being used to provide solutions to global food security challenges. Farmers can utilise satellite data to monitor crop growth and predict yields, allowing them to make informed decisions about when to plant, fertilise, and harvest their crops. Additionally, satellite imagery is used to monitor the health of forests and oceans, helping prevent deforestation and overfishing.

The implementation of precision farming technology offers various benefits, such as reducing fuel usage, optimising labour costs, applying fertilisers in a targeted and controlled manner, timely use of plant protection, efficient use of water resources, and decreasing greenhouse gas emissions. Intersputnik International, in collaboration with its members and signatories, is currently developing a solution that enables precise point positioning corrections (widely used by various businesses and industries to improve the precision of their activities in the field) to be received via standard Ku-band bent pipe communication or broadcasting satellite, which significantly reduces the cost of the correction module. This solution can be widely implemented by farmers in developing countries due to the lower costs and an opportunity to use their domestic satellite systems in remote areas where such corrections cannot be received from a cellular network due to the absence of coverage. It is expected that this solution will increase the adoption of precision farming, especially in developing countries, resulting in improved harvest yields.

Bridging Education Divide for Remote Communities:

In the field of education, satellite communications are providing solutions to the challenge of providing access to education in remote or underdeveloped areas. More than half of the member states of the organisation are developing countries, and many of them have nationwide projects to connect schools. Intersputnik is actively promoting the use of satellite-based solutions to expand its reach, especially to access remote schools that may not have access to fibre or microwave terrestrial connectivity. In addition, we work closely with service providers to connect schools in other developing countries around the world using satellite bandwidth.

In keeping with this commitment, Intersputnik will participate in the 29th edition of CABSAT, taking place from 16-18 May at Dubai World Trade Centre, to showcase its wide satellite bandwidth selection and other innovative technological solutions. The three-day event is a significant platform for decision-makers and forward-thinking individuals to discuss and exchange ideas on solutions aimed at addressing global challenges and draws a diverse range of attendees and exhibitors from across the world.