Special Report: More than three billion people around the world have little or no access to reliable, cost-effective communications.
And while mobile adoption and internet penetration is increasing across the African continent, 3G mobile data connectivity remains a challenge.
While APAC boasts 2.7 billion unique mobile subscribers or around 67 per cent penetration, sub-Saharan Africa has 444 million, or 44 per cent, according to the latest GSMA statistics.
That’s where nano-satellite innovator Sky and Space believes it can make a difference.
The company (ASX:SAS) performed a successful demonstration of its nano-satellite-based communications services, including instant messaging and voice calls, in front of more than 14,000 attendees at the Africa.Com event in Cape Town this week.
It’s all part of an effort to develop its relationships with potential customers in the region, building on a number of previously-signed contracts and agreements with the likes of mobile payments startup Beep Tool and telco Sat-Space.
Sky and Space used its 3 Diamonds nano-satellites, which it launched in June of last year, to conduct the demo.
The nano-satellites offer “narrowband” communications which support voice calls, messages and data for applications such as Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity.
Sky and Space is currently preparing to launch its next batch of nano-satellites, known as the Pearls early next year, which will deliver reliable, cost-effective communications services that will enable African service providers to instantly connect underserved, rural and remote regions.
Not just talk
The company believes its technology is the right solution for low-coverage regions, particularly across the equatorial belt, where current networks are scarce or unreliable and there is little interest in developing a terrestrial mobile communications infrastructure or investing in expensive traditional satellite connectivity.
Sky and Space’s constellation of nano-satellites will offer more accurate, reliable coverage, with minimal infrastructure rollout, enabling local service providers to grow their subscriber bases more quickly and support a wider range of services.
“Sky and Space can provide any type of narrow-band connectivity service, which means the applications are not limited to telecom services and can include Internet of Things, M2M and asset tracking,” said CEO Meir Moalem.
“Businesses will benefit from more cost-efficient connectivity across remote sites, improve the ROI of smart energy and agriculture projects and even be able to more accurately track fleets, ocean freights and other logistics resources.”
Africa is not the only focus for Sky and Space. Today, the company announced today it signed two binding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) agreements with Brazilian internet and communications providers, Inovsat Telecom and AltaRede Corporation.
It has also secured agreements with the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), a Caribbean-based inter-governmental organisation as well as deals in Indonesia and China.
Sky and Space Global is a Stockhead advertiser.