Communities living across the eastern most peninsula of Africa will be able to enjoy 4G services on their mobile phones following a three-year partnership agreement signed by fixed satellite solution and professional service provider, iSAT Africa and SES the leader in global content connectivity solutions.
The two companies announced today that this new service will be available first via SES’s O3b medium earth orbit (MEO) constellation to subsequently migrate and expanded to SES’s next-generation MEO system, O3b mPOWER, in 2022.
According to the GSMA 2020 report, mobile coverage has been expanding in Sub-Saharan Africa quickly; 3G coverage expanded to 75% compared to 63% in 2017, while 4G doubled to nearly 50% compared to 2017.
However, the coverage gap in Sub-Saharan Africa remains the highest globally as it is home to 67% of the world’s population not covered by mobile broadband.
This is because attempts to deploy 4G networks in sparsely-populated rural and remote areas continue to be an economic challenge.
SES’s MEO satellite-based MEF-certified service that can ensure seamless interconnectivity with any network is an ideal solution since it can increasingly save cost, therefore, being a connectivity solution.
Rakesh Kukreja, Founder and Managing Director at iSAT Africa said iSAT Africa is committed to delivering differentiated, cost-effective and reliable services that will enable various businesses to expand.
“This agreement represents a leap towards achieving that mission with iSAT Africa being able to deliver 4G services to communities and businesses located in underserved areas. As long-term partners of SES, we are confident this innovative solution will enable us to offer differentiated connectivity services to our telco customers,” he said.
On his part, John-Paul Hemingway, CEO of SES Networks said the agreement will enable the revolutionization of connectivity capabilities of mobile operators across Africa.
“The O3b and O3b mPOWER systems will easily enable the deployment of 4G services and high-performance networks for cloud applications regardless of where they are across the region.”He stated.
“The enhanced flexibility and scalability of O3b mPOWER will truly connect Africans living in underserved areas in the most economically viable manner.”